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Mixed MessagesNorms and Social Control around Teen Sex and Pregnancy$
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Stefanie Mollborn

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190633271

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190633271.001.0001

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(p.209) 8 Conclusion
Mixed Messages

Stefanie Mollborn

Oxford University Press

Who is winning the struggle between teens and norm enforcers over teen sex? Nobody is. Most teens are abstinent throughout much of high school, but most end up having sex before finishing high school, many don’t use contraception consistently, and many end up with unintended teen pregnancies. The norm enforcers around them aren’t achieving their goals. This social control does have many negative unintended consequences, though. This chapter summarizes the book’s theoretical contributions to the study of norms and discusses the findings in light of recent societal trends. The chapter closes with specific policy suggestions for improving U.S. teens’ sexual health and reproductive health, including action recommendations for parents, schools, community members, and teenagers.

Keywords:   norm, social control, teen sex, contraception, teen pregnancy, policy, sexual health, reproductive health

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