Abstinence - Archive

August 2009: Abstinence / Sexual Activity

Florida Quarterback Tebow Leaves Reporters Speechless: "Yes I am" Saving Myself for Marriage

House Votes to Cut Funding for Successful Sexual Abstinence Programs

The Case for Maintaining Abstinence Education Funding

Chat Rooms, Your Kids, and perverts…

The Problem of Pornography Feeling Immortal or Just Fatalistic?

From the Heart of Soul Sistas

Virtue in Vogue

Freedom's Role in Developing Teen Discernment

The Importance of Family Meals

For Young Women Only

Fast Fact of the Month

Resources…

Florida Quarterback Tebow Leaves Reporters Speechless: "Yes I am" Saving Myself for Marriage
Also says he is grateful that his mother's story has helped women choose not to have an abortion
Last week Florida Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow's photo may have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, the same magazine that is best known for its annual "swimsuit issue," but the contrast between the two cover stories couldn't have been more glaring.

At 21 years of age and graced with boyish good looks, Tebow is one of the most talked about rising stars of the NCAA; but the football superstar literally left reporters speechless last week when he answered a question during a press conference about whether or not he is "saving himself" for marriage.

"Yes I am," said Tebow briefly, who then indicated he was ready for the next question. However, in the video of the press conference, a reporter is heard stumbling over his words in the background as he tries to ask a follow-up question. Tebow then laughs, obviously reacting to the reactions of the reporters in the room.

"I think y'all were stunned by that," he says. "Y'all can't even ask a question. Wow. I mean, I was ready for that question. I don't think y'all were."

It wasn't the only controversial remark that Tebow made that day. In response to another question about whether or not people may be tired of the volume of coverage devoted to the young football star, Tebow, a devout Christian, said that the level of exposure he receives is a mixed blessing. However, he said, he looks at the positive side that, thanks to his fame, he has been able to share his Christian faith with so many people.

In addition, the football star told the reporters that he believes that the publicity given to his mother's story has helped other women choose not to abort their unborn children. Tebow's mother, who serves as a Christian missionary together with her husband, was pressured to abort Tebow following a life-threatening infection she suffered while pregnant with him. Doctors pressured her to abort her son to save her own life, but she ultimately resisted the pressure and both mother and child survived the birth.

"There has been a lot of people that have been encouraged not to have an abortion because they heard the story of my mom, or they have been encouraged because they have heard me give my faith on TV or in a report or something," said Tebow.

"You know what, although there has been a backlash, oh, well. You know what, I'll deal with it if I have to. It's not a big deal to me because of the kids and people that have been encouraged by the stories we have tried to tell and by the life that I've tried to live."

Growing up Tebow would often help his parents with their Christian mission work in the Philippines. He was homeschooled by his mother, who instilled in her children strong Christian values.

Tebow was the first home-schooled athlete to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy. "That's really cool," he said at the time. "A lot of times people have this stereotype of homeschoolers as not very athletic – it's like, go win a spelling bee or something like that – it's an honor for me to be the first one to do that."
[30July09, John Jalsevac, www.LifeSiteNews.com]

HOUSE VOTES TO REPLACE ABSTINENCE FUNDING WITH MORE CONTRACEPTIVE PROGRAMS
The US House has voted 264 to 153 to slash $99 million in CBAE funding, opting instead to spend $114 million additional dollars on explicit, condom-promoting education for students. Speaking of the many effective abstinence education programs across the country, Representative Zach Wamp (R-TN) said, “They’ve dramatically reduced the number of teenage pregnancies. It’s clearly a big shift in social policy.”
The U.S. House, taking aim at one of former President George W. Bush’s signature initiatives, voted to slash funding for abstinence-only sex education programs.

The chamber voted 264-153 to approve an annual health and education spending bill that would eliminate a $99 million initiative providing grants to public and private organizations that encourage teens to abstain from premarital sex.

Democrats, [ed.:who obviously have not read the mountains of research showing the success of abstinence programs, and who have not noticed the dramatic drop in teen pregnancy as abstinence programs increased, or the slow rise in teen pregnancy as funding for abstinence education has been drying up), said the money would be better spent on a new $114 million initiative included in the measure that would try a variety of ways to prevent teenage pregnancies such as promoting the use of contraceptives [ed.: Right… we know how well THAT works…].

Republicans criticized the move, saying abstinence programs work.

“They’ve [abstinence education programs] dramatically reduced the number of teenage pregnancies,” said Representative Zach Wamp, a Tennessee Republican. “It’s clearly a big shift in social policy” and a “big blow to the whole abstinence education movement in this country.”

Funding for the abstinence initiative increased five-fold during the Bush administration, which ultimately spent more than a half-billion dollars on the program. Lawmakers allowed a second, separate abstinence program that was created as part of the 1996 welfare overhaul to expire last month.

Democrats said abstinence programs could still apply for federal funding under the legislation approved today, pointing to provisions reserving $25 million to develop and test programs “that may not yet have rigorous evaluation demonstrating effectiveness, but use promising or innovative approaches to prevent teenage pregnancy.”

The Obama administration, which proposed eliminating both programs in its February budget request, said in a statement it “strongly” supports the bill approved today, w

hich funds the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and Labor for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The Senate has not taken up the legislation.
Last Updated: July 24, 2009
[30July09, Brian Faler, Bloomberg; Abstinence Clearinghouse Update;http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ayOQ0ErPHQLQ)

 

 

 

THE CASE FOR MAINTAINING ABSTINENCE EDUCATION FUNDING
The President's budget for Fiscal Year 2010 would eliminate abstinence education funding. The Obama Administration has instead requested the creation of yet another comprehensive sex education program, the "Teen Pregnancy Prevention" program. The House of Representatives has included this request in their annual appropriations bill that is now moving through Congress.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in FY 2008, HHS spent $4 on programs that promote "safe sex" and contraception to teens for every $1 spent on abstinence education.Congress should resist the President's request to fund another comprehensive sex education program for teens and instead maintain abstinence education….

The President's budget for Fiscal Year 2010 would eliminate abstinence education funding. The Obama Administration has instead requested the creation of yet another comprehensive sex education program, the "Teen Pregnancy Prevention" program. The House of Representatives has included this request in their annual appropriations bill that is now moving through Congress.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in FY 2008, HHS spent $4 on programs that promote "safe sex" and contraception to teens for every $1 spent on abstinence education.[1] Congress should resist the President's request to fund another comprehensive sex education program for teens and instead maintain abstinence education.

The Push to Reduce Teen Pregnancy

The 1996 welfare reform bill placed a renewed focus on reducing the number of out-of-wedlock births and teen pregnancies. Abstinence education funding was included in this legislation to help accomplish this important mission. Organizations receiving grants from this program were committed to teaching "the social, psychological and health gains from abstaining from sexual activity" and that "abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease (STDs), and other associated health problems."[2]

According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 1995 and 2002, the out-of-wedlock birthrate for teens ages 15-17 years old dropped an astonishing 30 percent and 12 percent for teens ages 18-19.[3] However, over more recent years the rate for 18-19 year olds has increased slightly by 5 percent, indicating that a renewed focus should be given to reaching this population.

The Research and Evidence

Studies have shown that abstinence-based programs have effectively reduced sexual activity and delayed the initiation of sexual activity. For example, the latest evaluation, which examined seventh graders in northern Virginia, reported that, one year after the program, students who received abstinence education were half as likely as non-participants to initiate sexual activity.[4] This result accounted for the existing background differences between program participants and non-participants. That is, the evaluation compared near-identical students except for their participation in the abstinence education program.

A 2008 Heritage report analyzed 21 different studies done on abstinence-based education programs. It found that in 16 of the 21 reports there were statistically significant positive results in delaying early sexual activity and initiation.[5] Of these studies, 15 examined abstinence programs whose primary message was teaching abstinence, while six of the studies were on virginity pledge programs. Of the virginity pledge programs, five reported positive findings.[6]

The research also suggests that teens who remain abstinent have higher academic achievement.[7] Analyzing a large nationally representative sample of youths, a Heritage study found that compared to sexually active teens, those who remained abstinent through high school were 60 percent less likely to be expelled from school, 50 percent less likely to drop out of high school, and almost twice as likely to graduate from college.

Abstinent teens also report better psychological well-being than their peers who are sexually active, and girls, in particular, appear to benefit from delayed sexual activity.[8] Reduced sexual activity decreases teen exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), reduces their risks of having children out of wedlock, and improves their emotional and mental health.

Parental Support for Abstinence Education

A Zogby poll in December 2003 found that 96 percent of parents said they want teenagers to be taught that abstinence is best. Seventy-nine percent said they want young people taught that sex should be reserved for marriage or in an adult relationship leading to marriage.[9] In addition, the poll showed that "93 percent of parents want teens taught that the younger the age an individual begins sexual activity, the more likely he or she is to be infected by STDs, to have an abortion, and to give birth out of wedlock."[10]

These are all themes and messages woven throughout abstinence education programs. Teens are taught about all of the possible consequences of engaging in sexual activity, including the risks of contracting a STD, heightened chances of depression, lower academic achievement and greater chances of teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock childbearing. They teach life and relationship skills and help lay the foundation for personal responsibility.

Comprehensive sex education programs often claim they include a message of abstinence. However, the manner in which it is presented is often downplayed and given little attention or focus. These programs do not focus on teaching personal responsibility, building character, or developing strong decision-making skills. Instead they presume teen sexual activity and convey that protected sex is a safe and acceptable alternative to abstinence. The Zogby poll found that only 7 percent of parents think the message of contraception should receive more emphasis than abstinence.[11]

It Just Plain Works

Abstinence education equips today's youth with the knowledge of the positive benefits of delaying sexual activity and decision-making skills to help them achieve their future goals. Before cutting federal funding for abstinence education programs, policymakers should revisit the original argument for supporting abstinence education–reducing rising teen pregnancy and unwed births–and consider all of the evidence that indicates its effectiveness.

Katherine Bradley is Visiting Fellow in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society and Christine C. Kim is Policy Analyst in the Domestic Policy Studies Department at The Heritage Foundation.

[1]U.S. Department of Health and Human, Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, "Health and Human Services Funding for Abstinence Education, Education for Teen Pregnancy and HIV/STD Prevention, and Other Programs That Address Adolescent Sexual Activity," December 16, 2008, at http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/AbstinenceEducation
/index.shtml (July 21, 2009).

[2]Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-193, at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.
cgi?dbname=104_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ193.104.pdf (July
24, 2009).

[3]Stephanie J. Ventura, "Changing Patterns of Non-Marital Childbearing in the United States," May 2009, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db18.pdf (July 23, 2009).

[4]Stan Weed et al., "An Abstinence Program's Impact on Cognitive Mediators and Sexual Initiation," American Journal of Health Behavior, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2008), pp. 60-73.

[5]Christine C. Kim and Robert Rector, "Abstinence Education: Assessing the Evidence," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2126, April 22, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/bg2126.cfm.

[6]Ibid.

[7]Robert Rector and Kirk A. Johnson. "Teenage Sexual Abstinence and Academic Achievement," paper presented at the Ninth Annual Abstinence Clearinghouse Conference, August 2005, at http://www.heritage.org/
Research/Abstinence/whitepaper10272005-1.cfm; Joseph J. Sabia and Daniel I. Reese, "The Effect of Sexual Abstinence on Females' Educational Attainment," Demograph (forthcoming).

[8]Denise Hallfors et al., "Which Comes First in Adolescence–Sex and Drugs or Depression?," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol 29, No. 3 (2005), pp. 163-170; Joseph J. Sabia and Daniel I. Rees. "The Effect of Adolescent Virginity Status on Psychological Wellbeing," Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 27, No. 5 (2008), pp. 1368-1381.

[9]Robert E. Rector, Melissa G. Pardue, and Shannan Martin, "What Do Parents Want Taught in Sex Education Programs?," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1722, January 28, 2004, at www.heritage.org/Research/Abstinence/bg1722.cfm.

[10]Ibid.

[11]Shannan Martin, Robert Rector, Melissa G. Pardue, "Comprehensive Sex Education vs. Authentic Abstinence: A Study of Competing Curricula," Heritage Foundation Special Report, August 10, 2004, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Abstinence/abstinencereport.cfm.

(30July09, Katherine Bradley and Christine Kim, http://www.heritage.org/Research/Abstinence/wm2562.cfm;
July 24, 2009 WebMemo #2562; Abstinence Clearinghouse Update, 30July09]

CHAT ROOMS, YOUR KIDS AND PERVERTS
According to Donna Rice Hughes, President of Enough is Enough (EIE), a non-profit organization that teaches families how to be safe online, "We recommend that parents seriously consider disallowing chat rooms because they are very difficult to monitor. And even in the monitored ones there are no guarantees because you can't detect a disguised predator."

(30July09, Rebecca Hagelin, http://townhall.com/columnists/RebeccaHagelin/2009/07/14/chat_rooms,_your_kids_and_perverts ; Abstinence Clearinghouse Update, 30July09])

THE PROBLEM OF PORNOGRAPHY
We live in a pornified culture. So how do we raise sane, healthy children in this cesspool? …This teacher's stories made me think that I need to figure out how to plant seeds in the souls of my children now, to grow within them a sane sense of personal purity and respect for the human body — both their own and those of others — that cause them to turn away from porn when it is presented to them, and to stay away from people who use it. Because in this vile Late-Roman culture in which we live, there's no way to avoid it. As long as personal computers and the Internet exist, the temptation will always be there. (Rod Dreher; Abstinence Clearinghouse Update, 30July09; http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/07/the-problem-of-pornography.html)

 

 

 

FEELING IMMORTAL OR JUST FATALISTIC?
A Time magazine article entitled “Why Do Some Teens Behave Recklessly?” reviews the results of a recent study which reveal that the risky behavior practiced by many teens is not always due to their belief that “it won’t happen to me.”

In long-term surveys of over 20,000 middle and high-schoolers, researchers uncovered an expectation of an early death held by many students.

The cure? It sounds just like what abstinence education programs around the country do every day:

“[Lead author Dr. Iris] Borowsky's findings, while grim, present an opportunity to interrupt that self-fulfilling cycle (and she also found that as teens grow up, their negative views don't always persist)… ‘I think this is something that can take place in primary medical settings as well as school settings,’ Borowsky says. She believes we can make a difference — even save lives — just by asking teens one simple question: ‘What do you want to do when you get older?’"
(JUL 15, 2009, http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1907750,00.html)

 

 

FROM THE HEART OF SOUL SISTAS
It’s a blog by and for “soul sistas”—faith-based, but full of practical, commonsense advice…like the list of reasons why waiting for marriage is a smart idea. #5 is one teenagers often miss:

A clear sense of judgment. When you have sex with someone especially when you enjoy it, you have the tendency to overlook their faults no matter how major. This way you can end up marrying someone you shouldn't or wouldn't have married under clear circumstances. Sex gives you a soul tie to someone.
(15JUL 09, Abstinence Clearinghouse Email Update; http://soulsistasheart.blogspot.com/2009/05/lets-talk-about-sex.html)

 

 

VIRTUE EN VOGUE
Virtuous Reality, based in Austin, Texas, will be hosting its Virtue en Vogue event—a mother/daughter back-to-school fashion show—on August 18 from 7 to 9 pm. There will be music and dessert and a “Back-to-School Survival Tips” talk by Vicki Courtney.
[http://www.virtuousreality.com/events/austin_virtue_en_vogue_event.php.
VIRTUE EN VOGUE, JUL 15, 2009, Abstinence Clearinghouse Email Update]

 

 

FREEDOM’S ROLE IN DEVELOPING TEEN DISCERNMENT
From my years of training horses I have learned to let the rope out a little at a time. I loosen the reins as the horse and I develop more trust in one another.

There is a big difference between letting out the rope a little, and letting the horse out of the corral.

Likewise, when I talk about giving your teen more freedom, you still need to maintain the "fences" or boundaries, but gradually loosen the reins so your teen has more freedom to operate within those boundaries.
(JUL 15, 2009, By Mark Gregston, Abstinence Clearinghouse Email Update; http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=594904)

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY MEALS
As a mother of three, I know how difficult it can be to manage schedules — especially of three young adults all running in different directions and wanting to spend time with their friends in the summer months.

But several years ago when my children first hit their teen years

and I discovered the fierce competition for their time, I forged ahead, designating nights each week when we would absolutely eat together.

And I found that adding one simple sentence to the mandate opened up a whole new world of fun: "Your friends are welcome to join us." This firm but inclusive directive made for many now-treasured evenings when we bond with our children and their friends. The time, laughs and discussions have a powerful impact on all of us.
(JUL 15, 2009, Rebecca Hagelin, Abstinence Clearinghouse Email Update; http://townhall.com/columnists/RebeccaHagelin/2009/07/08/the_importance_of_family_meals?page=full)

For Young Women Only. Do you long to unravel the mysteries of the guys in your life? 

Are you puzzled at why guys do the things they do or say the things they say?  Do you long to understand them better?  Then this book is for you! 

In this much-needed & insightful book, author Shaunti Feldhahn has gathered & compiled her twenty years of research in an easy-to-read book. Guys will be guys. And now girls can know what that means!

For Young Women Only dives into the mysterious inner-workings of the teenage male mind.
 
For Young Women Only, explores critical topics including respect, insecurity, appearance, physical affection, and the "tough and tenderness" of guys. This book is also packed with "ask the experts" sections, quotes, and fun personal stories from guys in all walks of life.
Order: 1-800-SAY NO!
Other Titles of Shaunti's Books & Audio CD's
For Young Women Only
For Young Men Only
For Parents Only
For Men Only
[Abstinence Clearinghouse Email Update; 15July09]

 

 

 

 

Fast Fact of the Month
In the US, one out of every 4 teen girls has a genital HPV infection. Of the teen girls who have already had sex, about 40% have at least one sexually transmitted infection.

References:
1. Dunne EF, Unger ER, Sternberg MR, et al. Prevalence of HOV infection among females int eh United States. JAMA 2007;297(8):813-9.
2. Forhan SE, Gottlieb SL, Sternberg MR, et al. Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and bacterial vaginosis among female adolescents in the United States: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004. Abstract presented at the 2008 National STD Prevention Conference: Chicago, IL; March 10-13, 2008.

 

 

 

 

RESOURCES
Effects of Pornography on Adolescents Slide Presentation
This new 42-slide presentation, based on the lecture given by Dr. Sheetal Malhotra at the Medical Institute's National Meeting in 2008, will be available in August. To download this slide presentation, along with many other educational slide presentations, join MI Online today. For more information about this and other benefits for members, contact www.medinstitute.org.

Updated and Revised for 2009- "The Condom" and "It's OK to Say No" brochures
Updated information and a new design bring a fresh look to these best selling brochures from MI. www.medinstitute.org
 
Dr. Joe McIlhaney & Dr. Freda M. Bush Discuss their Book Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children, on Radio. 14-15 September 09
Plan to tune in to the Focus on the Family radio program on September 14th and 15th to hear Dr. Dobson interview Drs. Bush and McIlhaney on their book Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children. (This program was originally scheduled for August 12-13, but has been rescheduled for September 14-15.) For further details and programming information in your area, visit www.medinstitute.org .

Clinical Intervention Seminar
On August 20th, Drs. Rose and Shuford, in partnership with Austin LifeGuard, will present a full day seminar in Austin, TX. Topics will include risky sexual behavior, emotional consequences of casual sex, STI update, HPV infection and vaccine update, and teen pregnancy. The afternoon will include interactive sessions aimed at improving sexual health screening and counseling in clinical settings. CNEs will be offered through Austin Community College. For further details and registration information, please visit www.medinstitute.org

Building Family Connections Curriculum Training
A Building Family Connections Curriculum Training will be held September 8-10, 2009 in Macon, GA. For more information, please contact [email protected] or 478-476-0675.