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Study: teen virginity pledges don’t work

By pams
Monday, December 29, 2008 18:01 EDT
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A Jesus ring to help you say “I don’t,” before you say “I do”. From Hall Jewelers.

Duh. Praying and promising to daddy that they won’t knock boots results in sex occurring just as often in the “pledged virgins” population as the average teen demo, but increases the chance that the sex is unprotected. Cleary the fundies are burying their heads in the sand if they continue to believe the lie. (WaPo):

The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a “virginity pledge,” but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.

“Taking a pledge doesn’t seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior,” said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. “But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking.”

Why on earth are states (and the federal government) still funding abstinence-only education?! Uncle Sam gives $176 million of your tax dollars each year to fund ignorance as study after study comes out dispelling the efficacy of abstinence-only ed.

“This study again raises the issue of why the federal government is continuing to invest in abstinence-only programs,” said Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “What have we gained if we only encourage young people to delay sex until they are older, but then when they do become sexually active — and most do well before marriage — they don’t protect themselves or their partners?”

James Wagoner of the advocacy group Advocates for Youth agreed: “The Democratic Congress needs to get its head out of the sand and get real about sex education in America.”

Will it? Or will they bend to pressure from the professional “Christian” set and the hypocritical, waning “my-values-only values voters?” As usual, these folks are trotting out a statement, this time challenging not the data, but the interpretation of it.

“It is remarkable that an author who employs rigorous research methodology would then compromise those standards by making wild, ideologically tainted and inaccurate analysis regarding the content of abstinence education programs,” said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association.

The key in this study is that it focused solely on students that had not had sex or had taken a virginity pledge, not including teens who didn’t take a pledge or engaged in sex. So it’s not surprising that the flat-earthers are upset and looking for a way out from under this study’s findings.

“This study came about because somebody who decides to take a virginity pledge tends to be different from the average American teenager. The pledgers tend to be more religious. They tend to be more conservative. They tend to be less positive about sex. There are some striking differences,” Rosenbaum said. “So comparing pledgers to all non-pledgers doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

BTW, out of the 3,400 teens followed by the researchers, 82% had broken their virginity vows (and that includes oral or vaginal intercourse, with the average study participant having three sexual partners). So it wasn’t just a “slip up” either. They sought out the sex, and many of them didn’t bother with any sort of protection.

What a winning combo, fundies. Way to go.

 
 
 
 
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