Why I Teach Abstinence
My hope is that that is what I can present to these kids a message of HOPE.
I want the kids to know who they are is worth more than 2 minutes in his/her bedroom and not just because they could get pregnant or maybe even an STD, but I want them to know because someone else thinks they’re worth more than that too.
All you have to do is believe and wait. I was a crisis pregnancy counselor for about 3 years before I started doing this program and always tell the students I have yet for a girl to tell me after the positive test came in she said well at least the sex was worth it. Because in the end it was never that good!
–Janell R., Women’s Care Center of NW Indiana
#1 Teens Want To Learn About Abstinence
In a national survey, nearly all teens (93%) said that they should be given a "strong message" about abstinence.1
Teens want to learn how to resist negative pressure from peers and the media to be involved in high risk behaviors such as smoking, drinking, drugs, and sexual activity. Teens appreciate the encouragement and support that is provided through abstinence education.
#2 Abstinence is The Only 100% Effective Method of Prevention
Every day in America, approximately 2,500 teen girls become pregnant,2 and some 10,000 new cases of STDs are acquired by teens.3
Although condom usage among teens has been increasing over the past twenty years,4 (at least for the initial sexual encounter) the U.S. now has the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease in the industrialized world. Rates of chlamydia among teen girls are at least 10 times the rate among the general population.5 The only sure method of protection from teen pregnancy and STDs, as well as the potential emotional, psychological, and social consequences of sexual activity, is abstinence until marriage.
#3 Most Teens Are Not Sexually Active and Most Of Those Who Are Don't Want To Be
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 36% of high school students are considered sexually active.6
Among teens who have had intercourse, the CDC reports that more than one-third of girls were either forced, or pressured into sex.7 Additionally, tow-thirds of teens surveyed who have been sexually active say that they regret their decision and wish that they had waited.8
#4 Abstinence Education Teaches The Benefits of Marriage and Family
Surveys show that 3 of 4 teens hope to have a good marriage and family life.9
Abstinence education helps students to consider their future goals and dreams and helps them to learn the self-control, repsect, and repsonsibility that will greatly increase their chances of having a strong marriage. Healthy marriages have significant sociological benefits and provide a stable environment for the care of children.
#5 Abstinence Education Offers Significant Economic and Sociological Benefits
Teens who choose abstinence are less likely to engage in other risk related behaviors, such as underage drinking, smoking, and the use of illegal drugs.10
Abstinence teens are also better able to focus on academic achievement and to become productive, contributing members of society, reducing the need for costly government interventions to remedy the consequences of sexual activity.
#6 Abstinence Education Works!
Students respond well to a clearly reasoned and positive presentation of the benefits of abstinence. A number of ongoing studies are documenting the results of abstinence education aroung the nation, such as a study by Florida State University, which shows a significant increase in the numbers of students who answer affirmatively to the question: "I plan to save sex for marriage."11
As abstinence programs are expanded nationally, the rates of sexual activity among teens have been steadily declining according to the CDC.6 In fact, the CDC recently credited 53% of the decline directly to abstinence education.
NOTE: By "abstinence education", we refer to sexual abstinence until marriage.
1 The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, The Cautious Generation? 27Apr2000
2 Alan Guttmacher Inst, Facts in Brief: Teen Sex & Pregnancy, 9/1999
3 American Social Health Association, Sexually Transmitted Diseases in America, Kaiser Family Foundation, 12/98
4 Trends in Contraceptive Use in the United States, 1982-1995, Family Planning Perspectives, vol 30, no.1, Jan/Feb 1998
5 Centers for Disease Control, STD Surveillance, 1998
6 Centers for Disease Control, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, 1999
7 Moore, K.A. et al, A Statistical Portrait of Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and Childbearing, 3/1998. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Washington D.C. * Data based on the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth
8 The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, "Not Just Another Thing To Do", 30June2000
9 Survey Research Center, Monitoring The Future surveys conducted by the University of Michigan
arch Institute, The Troubled Journey: A Profile of American Youth, p.8, 1993
11 To view Florida State Univeristy study: www.abstinence.ssw.fsu.edu
[Scott Phelps, 2Apr02; Project Reality News, 11/02]