Thursday, January 29, 2009

Teens Take Virginity Pledges, and Then Have Sex

I really like this article, it's what we all already know, but it's sometimes nice to have research to confirm...

Yet more evidence that abstinence-only programs, many of which include virginity pledges, do not work.

"In the January issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, there's a new study from Janet Rosenbaum of Johns Hopkins University about the effects of virginity pledges on sexual behavior.

So how do these commitments to abstain until marriage affect sexual behavior? Do teens who pledge to abstain have less sex than their compatriots? Nope. Do they wait longer to have sex? Nope. So what's the effect? Teens who take virginity pledges are significantly less likely to use the Pill or condoms than their non-pledging peers. "

"So what's my hope for the new year?

That we start thinking of sexuality education from a comprehensive, life-long, sex positive perspective. Sexuality education should be rights-based: it should be taught not because it reduces teen pregnancy or STI rates, but because all people, especially young people, have a right to accurate, complete and unbiased information about their bodies, their health and their sexuality. You teach kids about sexuality for the same reason that you teach them history, math, and logic -- they deserve the tools that help them understand and function in the world around them. "

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