NAEA - National Abstinence Education Association


New “Virginity Pledge” Study Draws Inaccurate Conclusions and Mischaracterizes Abstinence Education


Washington, DC (December 29, 2008) —NAEA strongly disputes the conclusions reported in the Rosenbaum virginity pledge study.

Valerie Huber, executive director of NAEA, remarks, “The author inaccurately equates the holistic breadth of an abstinence education program to the one-time event of a virginity pledge. A pledge and an abstinence program are not synonymous. Further, the author makes incorrect inferences for the entire population based on very limited research.”

The author compared two groups that were almost identical in terms of predisposed life skills. The only difference is that one group pledged and one did not.  

Huber adds, “This study looked only at individuals who have specific skills that are taught or reinforced in an abstinence program, so we are not at all surprised that they abstained about 4 years longer than their peers. This study simply reinforces the need to continue the skill building practices found in a typical abstinence-centered class.”

For the sample group, the mean age of sexual debut was 21, making this group completely non-representative of the general population. The mean age for sexual debut for the general population is about 4 years before this age at age 17.

Huber concludes: “The numerous and serious inaccuracies and deliberate mischaracterizations made by the author regarding abstinence education call into question her objectivity as a researcher and throws suspicion on the entire research she has conducted.”


NAEA is the professional association that represents organizations that provide abstinence education to 1.5 million of the 2.5 million students receiving this approach through federal funding. To interview Valerie Huber, contact NAEA at 202-248-5420 or for more timely response, email NAEA at


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Valerie Huber