Study Shows Effectiveness of Teen Abstinence

Family Research Council Decries US Government's Indifference

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WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 3, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In response to a new study demonstrating the effectiveness of abstinence education for teens, the Family Research Council is lamenting the government's rejection of programs that teach this to youth in the United States.



The council released a statement Monday after the publication of a study by John and Loretta Jemmott from the University of Pennsylvania, Geoffrey Fong from the University of Waterloo, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Waterloo, Ontario.

Tony Perkins, the council's president, explained that the study "tells us clearly that abstinence education, not the promotion of high-risk sexual behavior among teens, is needed."

"The study reports that abstinence education successfully reduced self-reported sexual involvement among African American students in grades six and seven," he added.

"In light of this study and others showing the positive health benefits of abstinence education," Perkins noted, "it is unfortunate that this congress and administration has zeroed out abstinence education."

Instead, he acknowledged, they have favored "sex-ed programs that advocate high-risk sexual behavior" and "it is children and young teens who suffer the consequences."

The council president reported that "despite an enormous amount of money going to comprehensive sex-ed programs dating much earlier than abstinence education programs," the Center for Disease Control data shows that "an alarming 40% of teen girls who are sexually active are infected" with a sexually transmitted disease.

"The government does not promote drug use or underage drinking, and it should not promote high-risk sexual behavior either," Perkins stated.

He added, "The evidence shows clearly that sexual abstinence is the healthiest behavior for youth."