Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Don't Think Abstinence Education Works? Watch This Video, "I Choose To Be Pure"

Abstinence education generates considerable debate. Opponents simply want to write off our teenagers and tell them to go with the flow because sex is natural and beautiful. They'll cite people like Bristol Palin as "proof" that abstinence education doesn't work.

The fact is, most proponents of abstinence education actually support what I call "Abstinence Plus". This means we teach students, in an age-appropriate fashion, how reproduction works. We teach them about birth control methods so they can effectively plan families later. We also teach them how to form effective romantic relationships, and how to avoid getting taken by abusers, creeps, and golddiggers. But we motivate teenagers to choose abstinence as the safest form of sex. No sex -- no clap. No sex -- no baby. No sex -- no problem.

The bottom line -- unemancipated teenagers have NO BUSINESS engaging in sex, and we need to sell that message forthrightly, without fear or favor. Six teenagers of different religious faiths (Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon, and non-denominational Christian) appear in the video embedded below and tell us why they choose to be pure (H/T to LDS Media Talk):

Contrary to what the pop culture claims, abstinence education can work. In February 2010, The Daily Beast reported on a peer-reviewed study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine which showed that Black middle-school students in the Northeast who enrolled in an abstinence-only program (no instruction on contraceptives) and were taught, sans moral or religious arguments, that they should delay sex until they were ready were more likely to delay sex in the two years after the program, as opposed to those who enrolled in no program or those who were instructed in safe sex.

In April 2011, Catholic Anchor reported that a study published in 2010 by the American Medical Association found that the probability of having sexual intercourse was approximately 15 percent lower among high-risk teens in one prominent abstinence-based program than those in condom-promoting courses or those undergoing no sex education. Alaska Governor Sean Parnell is a firm supporter of abstinence-based sex education programs.

The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) provides more information on abstinence education. Just because we are IN the world doesn't mean we need to be OF the world. Sex is natural and beautiful -- when done within the confines of a committed relationship providing maximum protection to both participants.

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