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Abstinence programs effective, new study shows

February 02, 2010

A new study has demonstrated that classroom programs that promote sexual abstinence are successful in reducing the likelihood that students will engage in pre-marital sexual activity. Sex-education programs that emphasized condom use had no discernible impact on teens' sexual activity, the study found.

The study, which followed adolescent African-American students for two years after they completed the classroom programs, was published in the February 2010 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. "This new study is game-changing," said Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Abstinence-based programs received sharply increased federal funding during the Bush administration. Bowing to pressure from proponents of the traditional "safe sex" approach, the Obama administration has trimmed the funding of abstinence programs. The new study could prompt calls for reversing that trend.


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  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 02, 2010 7:14 PM ET USA

    I like to use this analogy: suppose I had a son who brought his .22 pistol to me and said he was going to hold up the local StopNShop to get spending money. I say, "that's not safe," and give him a .303 caliber handgun instead. That's like training adolescents, whose frontal lobes are not developed enough to make life-altering decisions, to use condoms and telling them it's "safe." No, Just dumb.