Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, we examine the relationship between initiating substance use and youth sexual behaviour. We employ a combination of panel data and propensity score matching techniques to control for observed and unobserved heterogeneity. The results indicate striking differences across gender. For males, initiating alcohol or marijuana use is positively and significantly associated with the likelihood of engaging in sexual intercourse and uncontracepted sexual intercourse. For females, in contrast, there is no robust evidence for such links.
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