Abstinence Groups: New Sex-Ed Study Misses Point of Urging Teens to Wait
(Link): Abstinence Groups: New Sex-Ed Study Misses Point of Urging Teens to Wait
By KILEY CROSSLAND
Posted May 11, 2016
Abstinence advocacy groups say a new (Link): study criticizing virginity pledges misses the point of abstinence education.
The study, “Broken Promises: Abstinence Pledging and Sexual and Reproductive Health,” published on the website of the Journal for Marriage and Family, reports that the vast majority of virginity pledgers break their promise to save sex for marriage.
…The study’s authors inferred teen girls who take an abstinence pledge associate sex with failure and hear downplayed messages about the effectiveness of contraception. Therefore, they are more likely to have unprotected sex and higher rates of HPV and pregnancy, the “unintended negative consequences” of abstinence pledging, according to the study.
…. But Mosack said the study mischaracterizes abstinence education programs.
“Students have the information on how to reduce risk,” Mosack said, noting that the five most widely used sexual risk avoidance curricula across the country today include medically accurate information about contraception. Sex education advocates like to perpetuate the narrative that risk avoidance programs only give the failure rates for contraception, which is not accurate.
“What we don’t do is normalize teen sex,” Mosack said.
…. The fact that pledging alone is not effective should not come as a surprise in today’s culture, said Caitlin La Ruffa, executive director of the Love and Fidelity Network, an organization equipping university students to uphold marriage and sexual integrity. Trying to live out a pledge in a culture that “bombards you with messages and pressure to live otherwise” is hard.
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