Abstinence education

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Abstinence education encourages unmarried teens to refrain from premarital sex for reasons of emotional, spiritual and physical health.

"Abstinence Programs Show Promise in Reducing Sexual Activity and Pregnancy Among Teens," an article printed by Family Research Council, states that an abstinence program for girls in the Washington D.C. area called Best Friends reported only one out of 400 girls become pregnant since the program began (1). Between 20 and 70 pregnancies are common for the same sized group of fifth to ninth grade girls in the District of Columbia" (1). Upon adopting an abstinence-only curriculum by Teen-Aid, Inc. entitled "Sexuality, Commitment, and Family", at San Marcos Junior High in San Marcos, California, only 20 girls became pregnant in two years compared to 147 girls the year before (1). Nathan Hale Middle School in a Chicago suburb had a number of already pregnant girls at which time they adopted an abstinence program. Many parents were skeptical until the school graduated three pregnancy-free classes in a row (2). [1]


"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. [2]


Abstinence education is often criticized by liberal groups such as the American Psychological Association,[3] the American Medical Association,[4] the National Association of School Psychologists,[5] the Society for Adolescent Medicine,[6] the American College Health Association,[6] the American Academy of Pediatrics,[7] and the American Public Health Association.[8]


  1. "Cost and Benefits of Life-Style Choices", Phyllis Sandoval
  2. [http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/01/another_study_shows_failure_of.php
  3. Comprehensive Sex Education is More Effective at Stopping the Spread of HIV Infection
  4. American Medical Association – Issue Brief: Adolescent Sexual Health Education
  5. NASP Position Statement on Sexuality Education
  6. 6.0 6.1 Abstinence only education policies and programs.
  7. Sexuality Education for Children and Adolescents - Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health and Committee on Adolescence 108 (2): 498 - Pediatrics
  8. APHA: Policy Statement Database