Debunking THREE myths

A recent article written by Rick Weiss in The Washington Post, used conversations with contemporary researchers who study sex, reproduction and /or behavior genetics to describe why the following  myths are just that – myths:

1. That teens who begin having sex at an earlier than average age is associated with "delinquency" (more nuanced analyses using identical twins suggest that this is NOT true)

2. That breastfeeding itself may not be linked to IQ as previously reported (that, in fact, your mom’s IQ is likely to be more strongly linked with both your own IQ and her decision to breast feed you). Not that breastfeeding isn’t awesome (it is for many other reasons related to infant nutrition and immunity) – but IQ is likely not largely influenced by whether you were breast fed or formula fed.

3. That teenage moms are less likely to breastfeed than older moms (not true, it seems)

Two great quotes:

The new study "really calls into question the usefulness of abstinence education for preventing behavior problems," Harden said, "and questions the bigger underlying assumption that all adolescent sex is always bad."


It can make sense for poor women to have children when they are quite young, Geronimus concludes, and any effort to change that ought to treat it as an economic problem, not a health education problem.

Read the full article here.

Picasso image (above) via this site.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at