Abstinence Education Cuts Teen Sex by 50%
Study provides more proof abstinence
is healthiest choice for teens
Washington, DC (November 16, 2007) — The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) praises the Virginia Department of Health for the success of its Virginia Abstinence Education Initiative (VAEI). Research shows abstinence programs in Virginia are delaying the onset of sex in teens by nearly 50-percent.
The Institute for Research and Evaluation studied the VAEI, tracking the behavior of seventh-graders in five different Virginia schools. According to an article that will be published in the January/February 2008 issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior, the study concluded that those students receiving abstinence education were about one-half (45.7%) as likely to initiate sexual activity as students who did not receive abstinence education.
“Our youth deserve a risk-avoidance approach to their sexual health, and this study joins other research in support of abstinence that suggests when teens are taught how to build relationships and set boundaries they choose to abstain,” said Valerie Huber, Executive Director, NAEA. “Abstinence education still provides teens information about contraception and STDs, but always within the context that abstaining from sex is the only way to avoid all physical and emotional risks associated with causal sex.”
“The fundamental question here is, ‘Can you change or influence adolescent behavior?’ and the answer to that, as this and other studies in abstinence education demonstrate is yes,” said Dr. Stan Weed, lead researcher on the study. “Abstinence education has been a mainstream curriculum for less than a decade. That is a very short time to measure the success of a program, but this study indicates that when properly targeted, focused and implemented policies, programs and funding streams can turn the trends of negative behavioral consequences in a positive direction."
“We learned this week from the CDC that teenage girls lead the nation in the number of Chlamydia cases,” said Huber. “When you pair those troubling statistics with the positive news from Virginia, it is clear that teens need a risk-avoidance message when it comes to sex. It is clear that abstinence is the healthiest choice.”
More information about the Institute’s report can be found at http://www.ajhb.org/2008/32-1.htm
NAEA serves and supports abstinence educators from 41 states who work with more than 1.5 million students across the U.S.
For more information: http://www.abstinenceassociation.org
To schedule an interview with NAEA Executive Director Valerie Huber, please contact Patra Stephan at 202-248-5420 or 202-246-3822.