December 29th, 2008, 10:38 AM #1
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Not only doesn't "abstinence education" work,
it increases risky sexual activity: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.
"Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior," said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. "But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking."
The study is the latest in a series that have raised questions about programs that focus on encouraging abstinence until marriage, including those that specifically ask students to publicly declare their intention to remain virgins. The new analysis, however, goes beyond earlier analyses by focusing on teens who had similar values about sex and other issues before they took a virginity pledge.
"Previous studies would compare a mixture of apples and oranges," Rosenbaum said. "I tried to pull out the apples and compare only the apples to other apples."
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.
"This study again raises the issue of why the federal government is continuing to invest in abstinence-only programs," said Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "What have we gained if we only encourage young people to delay sex until they are older, but then when they do become sexually active -- and most do well before marriage -- they don't protect themselves or their partners?"
Naturally, the "pro-abstinence" preachers dispute the whole study:"It is remarkable that an author who employs rigorous research methodology would then compromise those standards by making wild, ideologically tainted and inaccurate analysis regarding the content of abstinence education programs," said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association. ...
"Abstinence education programs provide accurate information on the level of protection offered through the typical use of condoms and contraception," she said. "Students understand that while condoms may reduce the risk of infection and/or pregnancy, they do not remove the risk.In judging a two-person singing contest, never award the prize to the second soprano having heard only the first.
-- Francis Bator
December 29th, 2008, 11:03 AM #2
How long do you think, these "taken a "virginity pledge" girls ", under peer pressure and a good looking ( "horny) boy friend are going to remain celibate ????? A snowballs chance in infernum.
December 29th, 2008, 01:13 PM #3
Teen hormones overpower "pledges to remain virgins until marriage" everytime. Worse, abstinence pledgers are also less likely to use safe-sex practices.Conservatives: "If the facts disagree with our opinion, ignore the facts -- or at least misrepresent them."
December 29th, 2008, 01:39 PM #4
The study also found that, five years after taking a virginity pledge, more than 80 percent of pledgers denied ever making such a promise. "This high rate of disaffiliation may imply that nearly all virginity pledgers view pledges as nonbinding," Rosenbaum said.
Makes them into liars too!When those who believe in any of the available gods understand why they deny all other gods, they should come to understand why atheists lack a belief in theirs.
December 29th, 2008, 02:28 PM #5
What do you expect? I mean, really? They're teenagers.
December 29th, 2008, 02:38 PM #6
December 29th, 2008, 06:52 PM #7
While there was no difference in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the two groups, the percentage of students who reported condom use was about 10 points lower for those who had taken the pledge, and they were about 6 percentage points less likely to use any form of contraception. For example, about 24 percent of those who had taken a pledge said they always used a condom, compared with about 34 percent of those who had not.Good job, friend-of-friends!
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December 29th, 2008, 07:06 PM #8
December 29th, 2008, 07:31 PM #9
With any luck, they will be adults by then, and in better positions to make informed judgements.Never send to know for whom the bell tolls . . .
December 29th, 2008, 08:28 PM #10
January 3rd, 2009, 10:21 AM #11
Overall, religious students, regardless of whether they take virginity pledges, are more conservative than their non-religious peers. When compared against national averages, "they are having sex an average of about three years later than the average American," Rosenbaum said.
"It is something that I think can be looked on as encouraging," she said. "Kids who are choosing to be religious are also choosing to abstain."
Unlike previous studies on the subject, Rosenbaum told FOXNews.com that her sample only included religious students. Those who took virginity pledges were twice as likely as those who did not to be Born Again Christians.
"The past studies actually compared virginity pledgers to the general population and they relied on statistical adjustments in order to correct for the differences between the tow groups. For a lot of statistical reasons that's not good practice but its one that's very common in social sciences," Rosenbaum said.
FOXNews.com - Study: Religious Teens More Likely to Abstain from Sex - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News
January 3rd, 2009, 11:41 AM #12
Rosenbaum's study showed that making a virginity pledge doesn't play a role any sexual behavior because teenagers who take a pledge are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence. The study also revealed that those who took virginity pledges where less likely to use condoms that non-pledgers, she said.
"It's really vital for kids to learn accurate and comprehensive information about birth control, including how to use condoms in school," Rosenbaum said. "But on the other hand, schools can't be doing it all. Parents have to be teaching their kids about sex."
RESULTS. Five years after the pledge, 82% of pledgers denied having ever pledged. Pledgers and matched nonpledgers did not differ in premarital sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and anal and oral sex variables. Pledgers had 0.1 fewer past-year partners but did not differ in lifetime sexual partners and age of first sex. Fewer pledgers than matched nonpledgers used birth control and condoms in the past year and birth control at last sex.
CONCLUSIONS. The sexual behavior of virginity pledgers does not differ from that of closely matched nonpledgers, and pledgers are less likely to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease before marriage. Virginity pledges may not affect sexual behavior but may decrease the likelihood of taking precautions during sex. Clinicians should provide birth control information to all adolescents, especially virginity pledgers.RESULTS. Five years after the pledge, 82% of pledgers denied having ever pledged. Pledgers and matched nonpledgers did not differ in premarital sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and anal and oral sex variables. Pledgers had 0.1 fewer past-year partners but did not differ in lifetime sexual partners and age of first sex. Fewer pledgers than matched nonpledgers used birth control and condoms in the past year and birth control at last sex.
CONCLUSIONS. The sexual behavior of virginity pledgers does not differ from that of closely matched nonpledgers, and pledgers are less likely to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease before marriage. Virginity pledges may not affect sexual behavior but may decrease the likelihood of taking precautions during sex. Clinicians should provide birth control information to all adolescents, especially virginity pledgers.Pledgers were not less sexually active than matched nonpledgers despite prepledge similarities on 128 factors. Past findings that pledgers were less sexually active than the general population of nonpledgers may be attributable to regression models' failure to adjust for vast prepledge differences between the groups. Our refined sample (both pledgers and matched nonpledgers) is more religious and sexually conservative than the general population of adolescents and would be predicted to delay sex without virginity pledges.18–21 Despite having had similar birth control attitudes 1 year before pledging, virginity pledgers were substantially less likely than matched nonpledgers to protect themselves against STDs and pregnancy, consistent with earlier studies.10,12
Virginity pledgers may be less likely to use condoms and contraception because many abstinence programs cause participants to develop negative attitudes about their effectiveness.7,41
More than 90% of abstinence funding does not require that curricula be scientifically accurate,6,9 and a 2004 review found incorrect information in 11 of 13 federally funded abstinence programs, primarily about birth control and condom effectiveness.Sexual behavior reports are likely biased toward showing a pledge effect because virginity pledgers may underreport sex38; failure to observe a difference in sexual behavior reinforces the likelihood of no true difference.Policy Implications
The results suggest that the virginity pledge does not change sexual behavior. One cannot make causal inferences given the pledge's voluntary nature, but if the pledge decreased sexual activity, we would expect to observe a difference between virginity pledgers and comparable nonpledgers; indeed, this estimate is biased in favor of showing a pledge effect.
Given this evidence that pledgers are less likely than comparable nonpledgers to use condoms and birth control, and previous evidence that AOSE programs do not affect sexual behavior,7,8 federal AOSE funds should be shifted to evidence-based sex education programs that teach birth control and have been demonstrated to delay sexual initiation3,4 and increase safer sex practices.1,3–5
Virginity pledges are not a marker for less sexual activity and should not be used as a measure of abstinence sex education program effectiveness.
The real moral of the story is, that even for religious kids, abstinence only education is bad juju and counterproductive; and that a "virginity pledge" doesn't mean anything as far as actually having sex goes.
That last bit is key because Dubya's crew decided that the best way to measure the success of abstinence only education was by measuring the numbers of kids that took pledges, not the numbers that actually delayed the onset of sexual activity.
January 3rd, 2009, 11:54 AM #13
Hell I had a feeling that this was the case... The report that Fox News cited was the same report that outlines the findings in Theo's post.
Fair and Balanced my rear end!
FOXNews.com - Study: Religious Teens More Likely to Abstain from Sex
Like I said, that was an aside of the study, not the focus. Where is Fox's coverage of what the study actually found?
January 3rd, 2009, 11:58 AM #14
What was your point Mad? Past statistical methodology came up with the same findings. Although they abstain from sex at an earlier age then youth of public education they are less likely to use condoms and other contraceptive measures when they do.Originally Posted by RosenbaumWhen those who believe in any of the available gods understand why they deny all other gods, they should come to understand why atheists lack a belief in theirs.
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