The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Posts Tagged ‘conraception

Abstinence: A Guaranteed Way To Avoid Pregnancy and STD’s

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By Nathan A. Cherry

 The liberal left, Planned Parenthood, and other proponents of contraceptive-based sex-education will try to tell us that such education is the only way to reduce teen pregnancy and STD’s; despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

 Recently the CDC reported that teen pregnancy and STD rates are at all-time highs, and continuing to climb. (Click here for the CDC report)

 Then there is a recent report found at Citizenlink.org showing research results from many major research institutions on a variety of teen related topics. This report shows the link between teen depression/suicide and sexual activity, and the positive effects of parent-teen homework assignments designed to reinforce communication between parents and teens.

 But quite strikingly is the findings related to abstinence education on the rate of sexual initiation and sexual activity among teens. Here are several conclusions from the report:

                “Researchers examined the impact of a school-based abstinence education program on the initiation of sexual intercourse by virgin adolescents. They also sought to determine the program’s impact on adolescent social cognitive factors linked to adolescent sexual initiation. The researchers concluded that the program achieved its goal of reducing the rate at which adolescents initiated sexual intercourse. Adolescent virgins who participated in the program were approximately one-half as likely as non-participants to initiate sexual activity after one year.”

“This paper discusses 21 studies of abstinence education. Fifteen studies examined abstinence programs that were intended primarily to teach abstinence. Of these 15 studies, 11 reported positive findings. The other six studies analyzed virginity pledges, and of these six studies, five reported positive findings. Overall, 16 of the 21 studies reported statistically significant positive results, such as delayed sexual initiation and reduced levels of early sexual activity, among youths who have received abstinence education. Five studies did not report any significant positive results.”

“The authors analyzed data from interviews with 3,750 men and 3,620 women, conducted for the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (1979 to 2000). They found that women who were virgins at age 18 were, by middle adulthood (between ages 36 and 43), more likely than their peers to be debt-free and less likely to have used welfare benefits or to have experienced health problems. Both men and women who were virgins at age 18 attained more education than their peers and were half as likely to become divorced by middle adulthood. These findings held true when the authors controlled for ethnicity and measures of previous educational or economic disadvantage.”

What should be immediately apparent is the obvious and positive role that abstinence education plays in the lives of teens. This is not partisan politics we are talking about here; this is the health and well-being of our children. Anyone who denies the positive results of abstinence education is quite simply foolish. If the ultimate goal is to see our children stay healthy then abstinence is the only guaranteed way to achieve that objective. How can a girl get pregnant if she doesn’t have sex? How can a young man contract an STD if he does not have sex? It is practically impossible. Anyone who says otherwise is deceiving themselves.

And yet, our government would like to further push a failing program of contraceptive education. And why? Because there is a mentality that says kids are going to have sex anyways, so let’s just show them the right way to do it. Well, kids are going to drink illegally, should we show them how to do that “properly” as well? Maybe we should lower the drinking age to make it easier on everyone. That is the mentality behind the ludicrous idea of teaching grade-school children about sex. Hey, Uncle Sam, that is mom and dad’s job. Hey, mom and dad, that is your job.

The fact that contraceptive education is failing is a growing fact among social analysts. Moira Gaul, Director of Women’s and Reproductive Health at the Family Research Council, says,

After 30 years of implementation and evaluation, there is no compelling evidence of contraceptive distribution and instruction programs having had a sustained and meaningful effect on “protective” behaviors-that is, “consistent and correct condom use” in classroom-type settings. As a public health intervention method, contraceptive programs have simply failed American youth: An STD epidemic currently exists amongst young people. One in four teenage girls nationwide has an STD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the U.S. continues to have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world; and the toll from the negative psychological [effects] associated with adolescent sex is having an impact on mental health and the pursuit of life-goals.”

Not only are contraception programs failing, they are helping contribute to single parent homes in poverty, substance abuse, lower academic achievement, and school drop-out rates according to Gaul. And yet our government wants to continue pushing these programs. Something tells me they are not concerned at all for the health and well-being of our children, but rather the pockets of their financial donors.

There will never be such a thing as a 100% successful public sex-education program. But evidence for success is overwhelmingly on the side of abstinence education over contraception education when it comes to the overall short and long-term health and well-being of children. That should be enough for any person, republican, democrat or otherwise to support such education.

Further Food for Thought: “Abstinence Education is the Key,” by Moira Gaul
“Abstinence Education: A Selection of Research,” by Linda Klepacki

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