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Guttmacher Report Misleads on Abstinence-Only Education




Abstinence-only programs can work. The argument that the courses don’t, advanced by the Guttmacher Institute, is wrong, writes Michael J. New:

Evidence clearly shows that teen sexual activity fluctuates. In fact, both the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) have found that teen sexual activity has been consistently declining since the 1990s. Data from the NSFG show that, between 1988 and 2015, the percentage of teenage boys who had ever had sex fell from 60 to 44 percent. During the same time period, the percentage of teenage girls who had ever had sex fell from 51 to 42 percent. Additionally, a recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that sexual activity among young adults has declined since 2010.

Contrary to media reports, some abstinence-only programs have been found effective. A 2010 a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine analyzed over 600 African American middle-school students in the Philadelphia area. It found that students assigned to an abstinence-only program were less likely to engage in sexual activity than students randomly assigned to other groups, including a sex-education program that emphasized condom use.  Similarly, a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health analyzed over 800 students from a predominantly African-American and Hispanic school district in Southeast Texas. It found that those students assigned to a sex-education program intended to delay sex were statistically less likely to have initiated sexual activity than a comparison group that attended regular health-education classes.

[Michael J. New, “Guttmacher Report Misleads on Abstinence-Only Education,” National Review, March 13]


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    You are trying to teach hormonal driven teenagers to be abstinent? I could understand TEACHING PROTECTION, but as a teenager ‘the angle of the dangle is in direct proportion of the heat of the meat’ and the little head is without a doubt in charge of the thinking or the lack of!
    When teenagers consider oral and anal sex to NOT be sex you are going to have your work cut out for you.
    I applaud your efforts and wish you the best of luck.