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The Heritage Foundation released its analysis of two new studies on 24 June 2004. Both reports give further credibility to the abstinence until marriage message, showing that abstinence programs offer youth the best chance at a happy and healthy life…

{For more information about abstinence & virginity pledge research, go to For the study, “The Harmful Effects of Early Sexual Activity and Multiple Sexual Partners Among Women: A Book of Charts”, click here.}

“Teens Who Make Virginity Pledges Have Substantially Improved Life Outcomes,” published by Robert Rector and Kirk Johnson, assessed the results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a program project funded through a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. In it, students who took virginity pledges were followed for a period of years to see if they remained true to their pledges. The study found, after three separate analysis spaced years apart, that pledgers were 1/3 less likely than non-pledgers to have sex before the age of 18, were 50% less likely to have out-of-wedlock births than non-pledgers, and, contrary to public opinion, were not more likely to have or gain a sexually transmitted disease.

“Comprehensive Sex Education vs. Authentic Abstinence…A study of Competing Curricula,” written by Robert Rector, Shannan Martin, and Melissa G. Pardue, compared the content of nine popular authentic abstinence programs with nine popular contraception programs (what schools call “comprehensive sex education programs”). The results showed that authentic abstinence curricula devoted more than 70% of its content to the message of abstinence and healthy marriages, while “sex education” programs devoted only 4.7% of its entire content to abstinence, and 28.7% of its content to the actual promotion of contraception. Of the curricula reviewed, abstinence education curricula devoted 15 times as much of its content to abstinence education as “sex education” programs did.

[press conference [June 24] at the 8th Annual Conference of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse in Nashville, Tennessee; JUN 30, 2004, Results of Two New Studies from Heritage Foundation Revealed at Press Conference Jessemyn Pekari, National Abstinence Clearinghouse]