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.
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