OTTAWA, January 20, 2010 ( – A new study released yesterday by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada has revealed that teens who become intoxicated regularly and smoke marijuana are more likely to become sexually active, among other findings.

The study, which focused on teens between the ages of 14 and 19 inclusive, used data from Statistics Canada’s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth to draw correlations between drug use, drunkenness, time spent with a boyfriend or girlfriend and teen decisions about sexual activity.

The study found that teen girls and teen boys who smoke marijuana are 60 percent and 49 percent respectively more likely to be sexually active.  As well, a direct relationship was found between the number of times teens become intoxicated and their likelihood of being sexually active.  The study also revealed that strong associations exist between attempted suicide and sexual activity among teen girls.

Study researcher, Peter Jon Mitchell, said that the findings underscore what parents may know intuitively to be true. “Teens who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior,” said Mitchell. “This study reveals a ‘risk profile’ that may help parents as they nurture their teens through to adulthood. And it becomes all the more critical when we consider the correlation between attempting suicide and sexual activity, particularly among girls.”

The study “Rated PG, Part II: How drugs, alcohol and other factors influence teen sexual activity,” can be read in full in English, here. “Part I: Rated PG: How parental influence impacts teen sexual activity” is available here.