NAEA - National Abstinence Education Association

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Parents Prefer Abstinence Education 2 to 1

Zogby Survey Shows Dramatic Shift in Attitudes Once Parents Understand Differences Between Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex Education

Washington, DC — The National Abstinence Education Foundation (NAEF) today released a new survey from Zogby International showing that when parents become aware of what abstinence education vs. comprehensive sex education actually teaches, support for abstinence programs jumps from 40% to 60%, while support for comprehensive programs drops from 50% to 30%. This sharp increase in support of abstinence education is seen across all political and economic groups. As federal and state lawmakers debate funding for sex education in public schools, this new survey offers a compelling look into what parents want for their children.

“These results confirm broad-based support for abstinence education, including teaching teens about developing healthy relationships and increasing self worth and self control,” said Valerie Huber, executive director of the NAEA. “While abstinence education has been continually misrepresented by its opponents, we were confident that parents would strongly prefer abstinence education over so-called “comprehensive” sex education after they received full, accurate information about this common sense educational approach.”

The survey also showed overwhelming parental support for how abstinence programs permit an age appropriate discussion of contraception within the context of promoting abstinence as the healthiest choice. In line with the abstinence education approach, most parents said they want their children to be taught the limitations of condoms in providing complete protection against specific STDs and to learn how often condoms fail in preventing pregnancy based upon typical use. The majority of parents reject the so-called “comprehensive” sex education approach, which focuses on promoting and demonstrating contraceptive use. Sixty-six percent of parents think that the importance of the “wait to have sex” message ends up being lost when programs demonstrate and encourage the use of contraception.

Key Facts from the Survey

  • 59% of parents said more funding should go to abstinence education; 22% said more should go to comprehensive sex education.

  • 83% of parents think it is important for their child to wait until they are married to have sex.

  • 78% of parents think sex education classes in public schools should place more emphasis on promoting abstinence than on condom and other contraceptive use.

  • 93% of parents agree sex education should include a discussion about the limitations of condoms in preventing specific STDs.

“This poll confirms that abstinence education is the preferred approach for the sex education of youth in America,” said Valerie Huber. Zogby International conducted a telephone survey of 1002 parents of children ages 10-16. The margin of error was +/- 3.2 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. Access the entire survey from Zogby International at www.abstinenceassociation.org.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lara Bailey, Communications Director,
202.248.5420 or lbailey@thenaea.org

May 3, 2007

 

Important Points

“These results confirm broad-based support for abstinence education, including teaching teens about developing healthy relationships and increasing self worth and self control.”

83% of parents think it is important for their child to wait until they are married to have sex.

78% of parents think sex education classes in public schools should place more emphasis on promoting abstinence than on condom and other contraceptive use.