Sex Abstinence Programs Fail
A new report from the nonpartisan Mathematica Policy Institute concludes that sex abstinence education programs do not make teenagers grow fonder. In fact, the programs have no effect at all.
The U.S. Congress commissioned the study in an attempt to determine whether the $176 million the programs cost taxpayers annually is worth the expense. An abstinence program teaches children to postpone sexual intercourse before marriage.
Children who took part in sex abstinence classes were found to be just as likely to engage in sexual intercourse for the first time at the same age as children who did not receive these classes, say researchers from Mathematica Policy Research Inc, in a study the US Congress had ordered. According this latest research, teenagers first had sex at the age of 14.9 years, regardless of whether they attended sex abstinence classes.
This study examined four abstinence programs and compared students who took part in the programs for as long as three years at age 11 and 12. The children were first studied in 1999 and then followed up in 2005-6. The age of first intercourse was no different from that of kids who did not participate. Nor did the participating students gain more awareness of the dangers of unprotected sex than their nonparticipating counterparts.