Purity pledges ineffective

A new study released today shows teens who make purity pledges are 10% more likely to engage in unprotected sex. The Washington Post reports:

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.

The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.
The findings are reigniting the debate about the effectiveness of abstinence-focused sexual education just as Congress and the new Obama administration are about to reconsider the more than $176 million in annual funding for such programs.

Read more here.

Comments (1)

It's always been obvious to me that "purity pledges" are more for the parents than the teens.

It's sad, really. Adult insecurities about sex taking precedence over their children's health. You can teach your child your values without going off the control-guilt deep end. Give your kids some credit instead of concocting these schemes which focus on legalism and "Godly obedience" instead of informed self-responsibility about the powerful sex drive common to all teens. Either/Or thinking is what's risky here. Both/And is responsible parenting.

This phobic parenting is unfortunately the same thing that leads to an 8x higher suicide rate for gay and lesbian teens.

Jay Baldwin

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