Reasons for Abstinence

October 2004: 4 Abstinence Articles

SIECUS: Afraid of Virgins and Marriage?

Abstinence Education Reduces Abortion Numbers

Young Adults Bored with Sexual Advertising

Sex & Drug Use Linked to Suicide – Abstinence Protects Health…

 

 

SIECUS: AFRAID OF VIRGINS AND MARRIAGE? – The radical Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) gathered again to discredit abstinence education at a briefing in the United States capitol. This year’s theme was fear. The outcome of the meeting was that SIECUS is afraid of virgins, marriage, and the truth about sexual activity.

During the briefing a few abstinence curricula were slandered as being fear-based or inaccurate. “SIECUS screams when abstinence educators explain the realistic, inherent limitations of condoms and contraception,” explained Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, whose Washington, DC, staff attended the briefing.

“SIECUS’ contraception-based sex educators would have teens believe that condoms and birth control are ‘highly effective,’ but 20 percent of teens younger than 18 years old who use condoms or contraception will become pregnant after their first year of sexual activity. This is not fear, it is reality. Moreover, there is no epidemiological evidence that condoms can prevent many of the STDs.” (1), (2)

According to handouts given at the briefing, SIECUS’ Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, K-12 include information on “abstinence” and over 30 other topics. Topics in the guidelines, but not found abstinence education include:

• ages 5 through 8 to be taught about self touch and arousal;

• ages 9 through 12 to be taught different ways to seek sexual pleasure other than intercourse; and

• ages 16 through 18 to be taught about exotic fantasies enhanced by pornographic literature. (3)

SIECUS chooses to ignore the steady flow of data, which show abstinence is effective. “There are over eleven evaluations that show that abstinence education positively affects attitudes and behavior. More of these evaluations will be forthcoming,” clarified Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with The Heritage Foundation

For example, Case Western Reserve University evaluated Operation Keepsake’s program (Ohio) in 2001, and found a positive impact on adolescents’ beliefs and behavior regarding abstinence. Among those students who were sexually experienced, 55 percent of those who participated in Operation Keepsake’s program were abstinent at the follow-up survey compared to 43 percent in the control group. (4) 

GamePlan, published by Project Reality, has similar positive results. The change in agreement or strong agreement to the statement, “A person who has been sexually active is able to choose abstinence in the future,” was 35.7 percent from the pre- to the post-test. (5) 

 “Very soon, Choosing the Best will be in a position to statistically prove that our true abstinence programs result in significantly reduced teen sexual activity,” commented Bruce Cook, president of Choosing the Best.

SIECUS and sex educators have received billions of federal tax dollars over the past 40 years to promote contraception to teens. Currently, the contraception and family planning programs supported by SIECUS are funded by the federal government $12 for every $1 for spent on abstinence education. (6) 

Despite the billions spent on contraception for teens, no SIECUS-style condom-based sex education program has ever been shown to decrease teen pregnancy rates. (7)

“In August,” Unruh continued, ”the CDC reported that increased teen abstinence, taught by the same programs criticized by Advocates for Youth, was responsible for 53 percent of the drop in teen pregnancy rates. Other government funded studies show that teens who abstain have better life outcomes and are less likely to attempt suicide than teens who are sexually active.” (8), (9), (10)
“SIECUS is running scared because abstinence works!” exclaimed Unruh.

References:
1. Dinerman LM, Wilson MD, Duggan AK, and Joffe A. Outcomes of adolescents using levonorgestrel implants vs. oral contraceptives or other contraceptive methods. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. 1995; 149:967-972.
2. “Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for STD Prevention,” National Institutes of Health. 2001
3. SIECUS, “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, K-12.” New York, 1996, pg. 29, 30, 31, 32
4. Elaine Borawski et al., “Evaluation of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs Funded Through the Wellness Block Grant (1999-2000), Case Western Reserve University, March 23, 2001.
5. John S. Lyons, “Evaluation of GamePlan Abstinence Education Program,” Northwestern University, 2002. available online at www.projectreality.org – in the About Us section, viewed 9/28/04
6. Melissa Pardue, Robert Rector, and Shannon Martin, Government Spends $12 on Safe Sex and Contraceptives for Every $1 Spent on Abstinence. Backgrounder #1718, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC, January 14, 2004.
7. Kirk A. Johnson, PhD. Adolescents Who Take Virginity Pledges Have Lower Rates of Out-of-Wedlock Births. Report #04-04, Center for Data Analysis, Washington, DC, March 30, 2004.
8. Santelli, John S., et. al., Can changes in sexual behaviors among high school students explain the decline in teen pregnancy rates in the 1990s?, Journal of Adolescent Health (2004), Vol. 35, Pages 80-90.
9. Centers for Disease Control of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Survey of Family Growth, 1995.
10. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Longitudinal Survey of Adoles­cent Health, Wave II, 1996. [www.abstinence.net. Abstinence Clearinghouse News Release, 30Sept04, April Kurtz, 605.335.3643]

 

ABSTINENCE EDUCATION  REDUCES ABORTION NUMBERS The State of Illinois is reporting a 10 percent drop in the number of abortions performed last year. This represents the lowest abortion rate for the state in thirty years. For the year, 42,228 abortions were performed compared with 46,945 in 2002.

Tom Schafer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the drop was not due to incomplete reporting.

Some believe abstinence education is the reason. Libby Gray the director of an abstinence organization in Illinois said: “Since 1985, the State saw the teen birthrate drop to a 20-year low in 2000. Then Governor Ryan and public health officials credited abstinence training in the state as contributing to that decline. … If abortion rates have dropped and birthrates have dropped, something is changing in behavior.”

Cook County is where most abortions are performed in Illinois. There are 29 abstinence education groups active there and the county saw an 11 percent drop from 2002 levels.

Another positive development is that fewer college students and college-aged women in Illinois are having abortions. This group represents about half of last year’s abortions and is also the group that had the largest decline in the number of abortions. Abstinence education makes practical sense. Saving sex for marriage helps reduce unplanned pregnancies, disease and other consequences of such behavior. To listen to this spot, visit: http://www.ccbama.com/audio/CC
BAMA-092004.mp3
; A
labama Citizens Watch Weekly Radio Spots,  09/20/04]

 

YOUNG ADULTS BORED WITH SEXUAL ADVERTISING
Ad agency spots a new trend among young adults. Will advertisers ride along? Young urban trendsetters are getting bored with sexually explicit advertising. That’s according to HeadlightVision, an ad agency for companies like Coca Cola and Ford.

“Some people might find that surprising, because you would assume that sex would sell more than play or child-like imagery, and that’s actually not the case,” said Allison O’Keefe, global editor at HeadlightVision. [Family News in Focus, 09/07/04; Abstinence Clearinghouse 15Sept04]

 

ABSTINENCE STATISTICS & STUDIES : SEX AND DRUG USE LINKED TO SUICIDE RISK — Teenagers who have sex and use drugs have an increased suicide risk.

Researchers analyzed data from a survey of nearly 19,000 American teens in grades 7 to 12 conducted in the mid-1990s. They found that levels of depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts were highest among teens who engaged in high-risk behaviors involving sex and drugs. 

Teens who abstained from sex and drugs had the lowest levels. Teens who dabbled in sex, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco were in the middle.  “These results suggest that health-care professionals who identify adolescent patients reporting sexual intercourse or drug use should strongly consider screening for depression and risk of suicide,” study author Denise D. Hallfors, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Chapel Hill, N.C., said in a prepared statement.

The study found that girls were less likely than boys to pursue high-risk behaviors. But girls who did pursue high-risk behaviors were more vulnerable than boys to depression, suicidal thoughts, and attempted suicide.  Higher socioeconomic status reduced the risk of depression by about half, but it increased the risk of suicidal thoughts.

“It is particularly important not to miss opportunities to diagnose depression because effective treatments are available, or to overlook suicide risk, because suicide can be prevented,” Hallfors said. [current American Journal of Preventive Medicine, SEP 29, 2004; HealthDayNews, 09/16/04]