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A study released 4/04 by the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. found that programs which promote abstinence reduce the rate of unwed teen pregnancies by at least 40% and are 12 times more likely to be virgins when they marry.

These findings concur with those of nine other research projects on the effects of abstinence pledges on teenage sexual practices.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that abstinence pledges affected teens years later.

Those who made an abstinence commitment were more likely to marry than to initiate out-of-wedlock sex.

The Heritage Foundation study notes that the long-term effects of abstinence pledges are “substantial and almost impossible to erase” and that they work because they initiate an “identity movement” or “moral community” that provides peer support for teens. [LifeWay Press Release, 04/16/04; 21APR04, Abstinence Clearinghouse E-mail Update]