This paper examines the impacts of four abstinence-only education programs on adolescent sexual activity and risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Based on an experimental design, the impact analysis uses survey data collected in …
What is abstinence? Abstinence means not having any kind of sex with a partner. Sex includes vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Oral sex is any kind of contact between the mouth and the genitals or anus. Anal sex is intercourse through the anus instead of the vagina. A lot of teens think being abstinent means not having vaginal intercourse.
Complete abstinence is the only way to guarantee protection against STDs. This means avoiding all types of intimate genital contact. Someone practicing complete abstinence does not have any type of intimate sexual contact, including oral sex.
Proponents of abstinence education argue that teaching abstinence to youth will delay teens’ first sexual encounter and will reduce the number of partners they have, leading to a reduction in ...Estimated Reading Time: 10 mins
Adolescents demonstrate a complex and sometimes nuanced view of abstinence and sex. While refraining from vaginal intercourse is generally considered ‘abstinence,’ other sexual behaviors may be or may not be included, such as touching, kissing, mutual masturbation, oral sex, and anal sex [16,17].
Teen Sexual Activity December 2002 The percentage of all high school students (9-12th grade) who report ever having ... The Roles of Abstinence, Sexual Activity, and Contraceptive Use, 1999, AGI ...
Teen sexual abstinence would merely be a byproduct of the different educational expectations of college bound and non-college bound youth.
Impacts A theory of teen sexual abstinence is being developed that will be useful to parents, teachers, and sex educators who are interested in encouraging abstinence in unmarried adolescents. Publications. Abbott, D. A., Hardy, S., & Benner, G. (2005, in review). Adolescents making choices: reasons for and against premarital sex.
What is abstinence? Abstinence means choosing not to have sex. It is an important option to think about. A lot of young people make the choice to wait.
Many teens choose abstinence because they know that it is the best protection against STD's, and it is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Others choose abstinence because of religious beliefs or because of their own values. Do most teens who have had sex wish they waited? Yes!
Bearman PS, Brueckner H. What Else Should I Know? An ecological theory of adolescent sexual abstinence. It is an important option to think about. Nine organizations sued in Washington, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, arguing that their grants were wrongfully terminated. Impacts A theory of teen sexual abstinence is being developed that will be useful to parents, teachers, and sex educators who are interested in encouraging abstinence in unmarried adolescents. Want to use this article elsewhere? Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents. Report No. Kaiser Family Foundation. But teasing or pressure from friends, a girlfriend, or a boyfriend shouldn't push you into something that's not right for you. To see the full article, log in or purchase access. If abstinence only approaches cannot be shown to be effective in model programs with careful implementation and meticulous follow-up, they are unlikely to be effective elsewhere. Fields J. Earn up to 6 CME credits per issue. Fact sheet examines abstinence education programs, funding and impact on teen sexual behavior. A prospective study of psychological distress and sexual risk behavior among black adolescent females. From a scientific and public health standpoint, the accuracy of the information provided through sexual and reproductive health education should be essential. Back To Top. More often, states enact laws that dictate the type of information included in sex education if it is taught, leaving up to school districts, and sometimes the individual school, whether to require sex education and which curriculum to use. Parents know that growing up isn't easy. Among those who did have sex, there was no difference in the mean age at first sexual encounter or the number of sexual partners between the two groups. But STDs can also spread through oral-genital sex, anal sex, or even intimate skin-to-skin contact without actual penetration for example, genital warts and herpes can spread this way. Nobody can tell you what to do with your body or when to do it. Context counts: long-term sequelae of premarital intercourse or abstinence. Sex Res Soc Policy 5: Santelli b. This content is owned by the AAFP. At the same time, the Trump Administration announced the availability of new funding for the TPP program with updated guidelines. House of Representatives found that 11 of the 13 commonly-used curricula contained false, misleading or distorted information about reproductive health including inaccurate information about condom and other contraceptive effectiveness, the risks of sexual activity and the risks of abortion, as well as other scientific errors [ 45 ]. Talk to someone you can trust, like your parents, a counselor, a teacher, a minister, or your family doctor. This survey documents overwhelming support for comprehensive sexuality information that includes information on both abstinence and contraceptives among a nationally representative adult population. These new rules require grantees to replicate one of two abstinence programs—one that follows a sexual risk avoidance model, and one that follows a sexual risk reduction model— in order to receive funding. New England Journal of Medicine. Such human rights thinking suggests that governments have an obligation to provide accurate information to their citizens and avoid the provision of misinformation. Impacts A theory of why some unmarried adolescents choose sexual abstinence will be articulated, and the theory will be used to design and implement a sexual abstinence educational program. Results showed that, compared to controls, many comprehensive programs were effective, but no abstinence-only programs showed differences in behavior. Introduction To review the key issues related to abstinence-only or abstinence-until-marriage education AOE , we use the term AOE to describe those programs and policies that adhere to federal requirements for abstinence education funding see Table 1 [ 1 , 2 ]. The Government Accountability Office, which is the investigative arm of U. One sure sign that you are not ready is if you feel pressured or if you feel really nervous and unsure. This position paper and its companion review paper lay out how these policies do not reflect the realities of sexuality among Americans, lack effectiveness, potentially cause harm, and violate principles of medical ethics and human rights. Guttmacher Institute. Try to figure out what you really want. Despite the large body of evidence suggesting that abstinence-only programs are ineffective at delaying sexual activity and reducing the number of sexual partners of teens, many states continue to seek funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and mandate an emphasis on abstinence when sex education is taught in school. Abstinence is choosing not to have sex. A variety of international treaties and human rights statements support the rights of all people to seek and receive accurate sexual health information, including the International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action, Cairo, [ 52 ] and the report of the U. Abstinence-only programs might work, study says. Relationship Violence Warning Signs. Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing Censorship and manipulation of reproductive health information. While teens who participated in these programs could identify types of STIs at slightly higher rates than those who did not, program youth were less likely to correctly report that condoms are effective at preventing STIs. All Rights Reserved.
I have also shared my findings with various community and religious groups who have an interest in adolescent health and well-being. Impacts I have developed an educational program for teaching adolescents who choose abstinence about the benefits of abstinence and strategies for maintaining abstinence. Publications Abbott, D. Encouraging abstinence for unmarried adolescents: Identification of risk and protective factors. Barnacle, R. The development and evaluation of a Gottman Based premarital education program: A pilot study. Abbott, D. It's a choice, simple as that: An exploratory investigation of adolescent sexual decision making. Predicting adolescent sexual abstinence. Psychological Reports, Editor Carol Ammons. I have written four papers on this topic, one that has been published. I have met with the Federal coordinator of abstinence education in Washington D. I'm working with an undergraduate student on the project. We have 12 interview completed and another 28 to finish. Impacts I have been asked to speak at a national meeting of grantees of abstinence educations grants in Jan. I am also in the process of doing a study of abstinent college students. It is a choice, simple as that: An exploratory investigation of adolescent sexual decision making. An ecological theory of adolescent sexual abstinence. Several data sets have been obtained and the data analyzed. One paper has been published and two others are under reviews. I plan to conduct a small qualitative study interviewing a purpose sample of abstinent adolescents. I want to do narrative research project to tell the stories of how several adolescents have maintained abstinence over a period of several yearr, and what the benefits and problems have been with their decisions. Impacts My educational materials make it possible for some adolescents, and young adults to be better prepared to decide if premarital sex is appropriate and in their best interests of all concerned including their partners and a possible resulting pregnancy. Adolescent are given useful and specific strategies to stay abstinent if that is their decision. Adolescents making choices: reasons for and against premarital sex. Three research papers are currently under review in peer reviewed journals. Impacts A theory of teen sexual abstinence is being developed that will be useful to parents, teachers, and sex educators who are interested in encouraging abstinence in unmarried adolescents. Encouraging sexual abstinence for unmarried adolescents: Identification of risk and protective factors, Research Journal of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, Jan F. Scholl, Editor. Two manuscripts have been written and submitted for publication. A third paper is being developed that presents guidelines for developing an educational program on sexual decision making for adolescents. Impacts A theory of why some unmarried adolescents choose sexual abstinence has been articulated. The conceptual model is being used to design a sexual abstinence educational program for adolescents and their parents. Publications Douglas A. Abbott, Gregory Benner, and Sam Hardy Sam H. Hardy and Douglas A. Abbott Funding is being sought. Two papers are currently being written using pilot data and both have been submitted to the Society for Research on Adolescence Tenth Biennial Meeting in March, Impacts A theory of why some unmarried adolescents choose sexual abstinence will be articulated, and the theory will be used to design and implement a sexual abstinence educational program. Publications No publications reported this period. Sponsoring Institution. Project Director Abbott, D. Non Technical Summary Sexually active adolescents create many problems for themselve and for society. Research on sexual abstinence and corresponding educational materials may help teens avoid premarital sex. The purpose is to identify factors related to sexual abstinence in adolescents and to use that information to create educational materials to promote abstinence. Animal Health Component. Research Effort Categories Basic. Develop a conceptual theory of sexual abstinence. Operationalize the concepts and measure them with a multistate sample of teeenagers. Use the empirically supported model to develop educational intervention that would encourage abstinence. Project Methods Survey teens about factors thought to be related to sexual abstinence.
Predicting adolescent sexual abstinence. My Library. This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. How can I talk to my parents about sex? Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. What exactly is abstinence anyway? Abstinence and abstinence-only education: a review of U. Abstinence is choosing not to have sex. This assertion is supported by data showing that adolescents who initiate sexual behavior earlier are more likely to suffer from depression and engage in other risk-taking behaviors [ 11 ]. Lindberg et al. In fact 3 out of 4 girls who have had sex wish they had waited longer before having sexual intercourse. I am also in the process of doing a study of abstinent college students. All Rights Reserved. The most important single report is Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Guttmacher Institute. To review recent literature on medical accuracy, program effectiveness, and ethical concerns related to abstinence-only policies for adolescent sexuality education. Moreover, when pledgers did initiate intercourse, many failed to protect themselves by using condoms, and were less likely to be tested for STIs. Nonetheless, support for abstinence education programs continues. The fact is you don't really need to tell anyone why you don't want to have sex. A study that found an abstinence-only intervention to be effective in delaying sexual activity within a two-year period received significant attention as the first major study to do so. If you feel you can't talk to a parent, reach out to a teacher, a counselor, a doctor, or a school nurse who can provide answers. Loving someone doesn't just give them permission for sex. Guttmacher Policy Review. Sign Up Now. To review the key issues related to abstinence-only or abstinence-until-marriage education AOE , we use the term AOE to describe those programs and policies that adhere to federal requirements for abstinence education funding see Table 1 [ 1 , 2 ]. Bruckner H, Bearman P. Operationalize the concepts and measure them with a multistate sample of teeenagers. As defined by U. You should know that some STD's are spread from oral sex. Nobody can tell you what to do with your body or when to do it. In addition, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program TPPP was established to more narrowly focus on teen pregnancy prevention, providing grants to replicate evidence-based program models, as well as funding for implementation and rigorous evaluation of new and innovative models. Mary A. It is possible to get pregnant without having sexual intercourse if a male ejaculates near your vagina, since sperm can still get inside of you. Don't be shy about what you don't feel comfortable doing. You might want to talk about your feelings with someone you trust. The Government Accountability Office, which is the investigative arm of U. Fam Plann Perspect. To protect yourself and your partner, use a lubricated latex condom and a spermicide with nonoxynol 9. This marks a sharp departure from the rules under the Obama administration, which allowed grantees to choose from a list of 44 evidence-supported programs that vary by approach, target population, setting, length, and intended outcomes. Elster A, Fleming M. Sometimes must adhere to the 8-point federal definition Table 3. A prospective study of psychological distress and sexual risk behavior among black adolescent females. State refusals of federal funding Related to the above concerns about a lack of efficacy, medical inaccuracy and the ethically untenable position of withholding potentially life-saving information, a number of states have refused or are planning to refuse federal Title V, Section abstinence-only funding. Topics Women's Health Policy. Which comes first in adolescence— sex and drugs or depression? Now you can make better choices in the future, which may include deciding not to have sex again until you are older. It is an important option to think about. Only 24 states and DC require that sex education be taught in schools Text Box 1. Back To Top. But teasing or pressure from friends, a girlfriend, or a boyfriend shouldn't push you into something that's not right for you. J Policy Anal Manage. This paper drives home the importance of providing comprehensive sexuality information to all adolescents, including medically accurate information on contraceptive efficacy and condom use, if we are to experience further declines in adolescent pregnancy. In fact, your values are based on your parent's attitude about things. Stanger-Hall, K.
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. To review recent literature on medical accuracy, program effectiveness, and ethical concerns related to abstinence-only policies for adolescent sexuality education. These programs are required to withhold information on contraception and condom use, except for information on failure rates. Abstinence-only curricula have been found to contain scientifically inaccurate information, distorting data on topics such as condom efficacy, and promote gender stereotypes. An independent evaluation of the federal program, several systematic reviews, and cohort data from population-based surveys find little evidence of efficacy and evidence of possible harm. In contrast, comprehensive sexuality education programs have been found to help teens delay initiation of intercourse and reduce sexual risk behaviors. Abstinence-only polices violate the human rights of adolescents because they withhold potentially life-saving information on HIV and other STIs. Federal support of abstinence-only as an approach to adolescent sexuality education is of much concern due to medical inaccuracies, lack of effectiveness, and the withholding and distorting of health information. To review the key issues related to abstinence-only or abstinence-until-marriage education AOE , we use the term AOE to describe those programs and policies that adhere to federal requirements for abstinence education funding see Table 1 [ 1 , 2 ]. Adolescence is a time of transition to adulthood. To understand adolescent sexual behavior, one must first understand adult sexual practices. There is an 8—10 year gap between median age at first intercourse 17 years and first marriage 25 years for women and 27 years for men [ 3 , 4 ]. Few American adults abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage, and most initiate sexual intercourse during their adolescent years. Initiation of sexual intercourse puts a teenager at risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. Over U. A recent analysis of the decline in U. Although pregnancy rates have declined, the United States still leads the developed world in adolescent aged 15—19 birth rates, with 42 births per women in By comparison, adolescents in the United Kingdom had 27 births per women; in Italy, seven births per women; and in the Netherlands, five births per women [ 10 ]. One argument for presenting abstinence to adolescents as their sole option for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection STI prevention is that adolescent sexual behavior is itself harmful. This assertion is supported by data showing that adolescents who initiate sexual behavior earlier are more likely to suffer from depression and engage in other risk-taking behaviors [ 11 ]. Early adolescent sexual behavior, however, is confounded by high rates of coercive sex, older partners, and the co-occurrence of other risk behaviors such as substance use. Additionally, the same social deprivation e. Several analyses document the role of preexisting depression in subsequent adolescent sexual risk behavior [ 13 , 14 ]. A recent analysis of Add Health casts doubts on whether early sex causes depression. Adolescents demonstrate a complex and sometimes nuanced view of abstinence and sex. Broad public support exists for comprehensive sexuality education, with abstinence as a key component of that education. The CBAE program bypasses the state government approval processes and makes grants directly to community- based organizations, including faith-based organizations. Federal guidance requires all programs to adhere to an eight-point definition of abstinence-only education see Table 1 , and prohibits programs from disseminating information on contraceptive services, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other aspects of human sexuality [ 2 , 23 ]. No designated federal funding stream exists for comprehensive sexuality education. Lindberg et al. Her analyses of NSFG data reaffirm findings from older and complementary data sets see, for example, [ 25 ]. Abstinence-only approaches have also influenced family planning and HIV prevention programs nationally and internationally. In fiscal year , the Office of Population Affairs announced that program priorities for Title X grantees would include a focus on extramarital abstinence education and counseling, increasing parental involvement in the decisions of minors to seek family planning services, reporting of statutory rape, and working with faith-based organizations [ 26 ]. The Government Accountability Office, which is the investigative arm of U. Congress, issued a critique of U. The most important single report is Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Authorized by the U. Congress, and using a rigorous randomized controlled trial study design, investigators examined the impact on sexual behaviors among adolescents four years after participation in one of four carefully chosen and implemented Title V abstinence-only programs or a community-standard control. The report describes no differences in sexual abstinence or condom use between abstinence-only program group and control group. One significant finding was concerning: youth in the program group were significantly less likely to report that condoms were effective in preventing HIV and other STIs. This finding is consistent with the emphasis in AOE curricula on teaching about the failure rates for condoms, as required by federal program guidance [ 2 ]. This review employed similar scientific criteria to prior systematic reviews of sexuality education programs [ 41 , 42 ] in selecting program evaluations, including use of experimental or quasi-experimental design and sexual behavior outcomes to demonstrate efficacy. Also similar to prior systematic reviews, this review concluded that many comprehensive sexuality education programs demonstrate efficacy in delaying initiation of intercourse, in addition to promoting other protective behaviors such as condom use. In contrast, this review found no evidence that abstinence-only programs demonstrate efficacy in delaying initiation of sexual intercourse. The findings in the above randomized trial and systematic review are supported by a longitudinal analysis of adolescents taking virginity pledges in Add Health [ 40 , 43 ]. Moreover, when pledgers did initiate intercourse, many failed to protect themselves by using condoms, and were less likely to be tested for STIs. From a scientific and public health standpoint, the accuracy of the information provided through sexual and reproductive health education should be essential. Calls for medical accuracy represent one response to concerns about misinformation provided by abstinence only education. Medical accuracy can be defined as:. The deliberate withholding of information that is needed to protect life and health and therefore relevant to informed decision-making should be considered medically inaccurate [ 44 ]. A content review of abstinence-only curricula conducted by the minority staff of the Committee on Government Reform of the U. House of Representatives found that 11 of the 13 commonly-used curricula contained false, misleading or distorted information about reproductive health including inaccurate information about condom and other contraceptive effectiveness, the risks of sexual activity and the risks of abortion, as well as other scientific errors [ 45 ].