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The Family Research Council supports healthy marriage and family formation education to youth in conjunction with abstinence until marriage education, where marriage between one man and woman is promoted as the expected context for sexual behaviors and as the best family structure for raising children.

Risk avoidance or abstinence messaging serves as the best primary prevention approach for those who both have and have not been sexually active outside of marriage.  This public health approach promotes the optimal reproductive health, sexual health, and psycho-social and societal outcomes.  Abstinence education mutually reinforces the risk avoidance message given to youth regarding drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and violence.

Based upon sound behavioral theory, abstinence-focused education provides the skills necessary to avoid sexual activity, build character, and develop healthy relationships. Well-developed abstinence-until-marriage curricula should be accurate, age-appropriate, and promote a positive view of sexuality in the appropriate context of marriage.

Both health care providers and parents should reinforce the fact that abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage are the most effective method of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and negative outcomes associated with premarital and extramarital sex. Equally important, such an approach prepares both men and women for the best sex within marriage.

All of these papers can be found at

    * Adolescent Health and Sexual Activity: Research Findings by Moira Gaul, M.P.H.

    * Induced Abortion and Subsequent Preterm Birth by Moira Gaul, M.P.H.

    * Why Wait: The Benefits of Abstinence Until Marriage by Bridget Maher, M.A. [Insight paper]

    * Gardasil: What Every Parent Should Know About the HPV Vaccine by Moira Gaul, M.P.H. [brochure]

    * The HPV Vaccine and School Mandates: Questions and Answers by Moira Gaul, M.P.H. [Insight paper]

    * Testimony on D.C. Public Schools Sex Education by Moira Gaul, M.P.H. [Testimony]

    * New STD Data Shows Need for Abstinence Education, Says Family Research Council (03/13/08) [Press release]

    * Family Research Council Calls for Further Study of Abstinence Education Programs (4/18/07) [Press release]

    * Teen Birth Rate Increase Demonstrates Need for Authentic Abstinence Education (12/06/07) [Press release]

    * Spending Too Little on Abstinence by Tony Perkins and Moira Gaul, M.P.H. [Perspective paper]

All of these papers can be found at