Monday, December 29, 2008

Just Say, No! Fails... Again...

Teens Who Pledge Virginity Often Don’t Keep Their Promise
Teens who pledge to remain virgins until walking down the aisle are just as likely to have sex before marriage as those who don’t promise abstinence, and are less prone to use birth control pills or condoms when they do, a new study published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics says.

Study author Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at data collected from an estimated 3400 students who had been virgin or taken a virginity pledge in 1995.

She drew a comparison between 289 youngsters who were 17 years old on average in 1996, when they took a virginity pledge, orally or in writing, and 645 who didn’t vow to refrain but were otherwise similar.

The results showed that taking a pledge “doesn’t seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior,” Rosenbaum said. By 2001, 82% of students who had taken a pledge had withdrawn their promise. Besides, there was little difference in the number of participants in both groups who had had sex, the age at which they lost their virginity or their number of sexual partners, the study found.

Researchers also found that the percentage of students who protected against pregnancy was 10 points lower for those who had taken a virginity pledge.

According to Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, "this study again raises the issue of why the federal government is continuing to invest in abstinence-only programs."

Earlier studies disclosed that virginity vows decreased sexual activity in teenagers ages 12 to 17.


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