Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 413–441 | Cite as

Get High and Get Stupid: The Effect of Alcohol and Marijuana Use on Teen Sexual Behavior

  • Michael Grossman
  • Robert KaestnerEmail author
  • Sara Markowitz


Numerous studies have documented a strong correlation between substance use and teen sexual behavior, and this empirical relationship has given rise to a widespread belief that substance use causes teens to engage in risky sex. This causal link is often used by advocates to justify policies targeted at reducing substance use. Here, we argue that previous research has not produced sufficient evidence to substantiate a causal relationship between substance use and teen sexual behavior. Accordingly, we attempt to estimate causal effects using two complementary research approaches. Our findings suggest that substance use is not causally related to teen sexual behavior, although we cannot definitively rule out that possibility.


sexual behavior substance use 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Grossman
    • 1
  • Robert Kaestner
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sara Markowitz
    • 3
  1. 1.City University of New York Graduate Center and National Bureau of Economic ResearchNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at Chicago and National Bureau of Economic ResearchInstitute for Government and Public AffairsChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Rutgers University at Newark and National Bureau of Economic Research, Department of EconomicsRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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