Abstinence Ed. Isn't Slowing Teen Sex

Celibacy-only programs have little 'positive impact,' study argues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2007 1:17 PM CST
Programs that teach only abstinence have little effect on sexual practices of teenagers, a study shows.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Abstinence-only sex-education courses funded by the federal government are no match for teenage libido, according to a new study from a non-partisan group seeking to reduce teen pregnancy. The study found such programs had less “positive impact” than more comprehensive curricula, the AP reports, and dismissed as myth the idea that teaching about contraceptives increases promiscuity.

The study defined delayed sex, less-frequent sex, and safer sex as positive outcomes; it also found that comprehensive programs increased teens' awareness of the risks of sex. The study comes as Congress considers a bill to provide $141 million for abstinence-only programs. The report’s author wrote some of the studies he reviewed, the AP notes, and works for a company offering recommended programs.