Study Finds Link Between Underage Gambling and Sex
A study of African-American youth in Baltimore schools has found that nearly 50% of them had gambled before the age of 18. Furthermore, the study showed that for those who did gamble before the age of 18, 46% of them were regular gamblers.The study was carried out by Dr Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University.
Interestingly the researchers found that more gamblers than non-gamblers had sexual intercourse before they were 18. Unsurprisingly this meant that there was also a link between gambling and pregnancy. It found that more gamblers with high impulsivity at age 13 had become pregnant or impregnated someone. Approximately a third of gamblers had sex by the age of 13 and 89% by the age of 18.
In a statement Martins said, “Our findings are complementary to earlier studies that showed an association between gambling with an earlier age of onset of sexual activities, however, participants in these samples were predominantly white. Despite evidence that problem gambling is more prevalent among African-American adolescents and adults, few adolescent studies included a large subgroup of African Americans in their samples.”