School & District Management

Abstinence-Only Program Can Delay Teen Sex, Study Finds

By Erik W. Robelen — February 02, 2010 1 min read

An experimental, abstinence-only approach to sex education can delay young teenagers from engaging in sexual activity, a new federally financed study finds.

A story from the Associated Press says the study is being billed as the “first rigorous research to show long-term success with an abstinence-only approach.” The program studied apparently differs from traditional abstinence programs that have lost federal and state support in recent years, the AP says.

“The classes didn’t preach saving sex until marriage or disparage condom use,” the story explains. “Instead, they involved assignments to help students around the age of 12 see the drawbacks to sexual activity at their age. It included having them list the pros and cons themselves, and it found their ‘cons’ far outnumbered the ‘pros.’ ”

The new study appears in the February issue of the journal, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

For another take on the study, check out this Washington Post story.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.