Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Abstinence-only education works if it emphasizes personal maturity, not just marriage


A study of abstinence-only education compared to instruction in both abstinence and condom use, showed that with middle school students, abstinence-only education tended to be more effective in getting teens to avoid sex, pregnancy, and STD’s later in their teen years.

However, the education was most effective when “practical” rather than based on the idea of waiting for marriage or based on religious precepts. That is, students believed the message when they were told that they were not old enough to deal with the consequences of premature explorations. The best idea seemed to be, to wait until you were able to be on your own and make a living on your own.

That all sounds like common sense, doesn’t it.

Tamar Lewis has the New York Times story, “Quick response to study of abstinence education”, at this link.

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