ERIC Number: ED464977
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr-5
Reference Count: N/A
The Effectiveness of Abstinence Education Programs in Reducing Sexual Activity among Youth. The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder.
Teenage sexual activity is a major problem confronting the nation and has led to a rising incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, emotional and psychological injuries, and out-of-wedlock childbearing. Abstinence education programs for youth have proven effective in reducing early sexual activity. They can also provide the foundation for personal responsibility and enduring marital commitment. Conventional safe sex programs place little or no emphasis on encouraging young people to abstain from early sexual activity. There are 10 scientific evaluations showing that real abstinence programs (which do not provide contraceptives or encourage their use) can be highly effective in reducing early sexual activity. This paper describes the 10 programs and their evaluations. They are virginity pledge programs; Not Me, Not Now; Operation Keepsake; Abstinence by Choice; the virginity pledge movement; Teen Aid and Sex Respect; Family Accountability Communicating Teen Sexuality; Postponing Sexual Involvement; Project Taking Charge; and Teen Aid Family Life Education Project. These evaluations show that real abstinence education programs are effective in reducing participants' sexual activity. However, funding for program evaluation has ranged from meager to nonexistent. (SM)
Descriptors: Births to Single Women, Comprehensive School Health Education, Early Adolescents, Emotional Problems, Health Behavior, Program Effectiveness, Psychological Patterns, Research, Sexuality
Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400. For full text: http://www.heritage.org/library/backgrounder.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC.