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Student "Study" Shows Old Data on Virginity Pledges Needs a Rest from Scrutiny

"Pure Fashion Show" for Girls Catches On– Meets "Modesty Guidelines"

STUDENT “STUDY” SHOWS OLD DATA ON VIRGINITY PLEDGES NEEDS A REST FROM SCRUTINY. “Examining old data reveals very little new information,” said Christina Espenscheid, Educational Programs Director of the Abstinence Clearinghouse. “A paper by Harvard student Janet Rosenbaum released this week proves the statement and gives health advocates no useful information in helping youth choose healthy behaviors.”

The paper, released in an advance online edition of the June 2006 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, claimed to study the effect of virginity pledges on adolescent sexual health. Unfortunately, the study lacked any comparison data, rendering the results less than scientific. Contributing to the less than scientific results were the questionable answers of the survey’s respondents.

According to press reports, Rosenbaum herself concludes that relying on self-reported history from adolescents makes an unreliable measure for scientific study. Since the survey studied in this paper was conducted ten years ago, new and reliable data has been collected.

Teens who make a virginity pledge report greater amounts of sexual abstinence and for longer periods of time. Also, teens who did not make a virginity pledge are twice as likely to experience a unmarried teen pregnancy. “Abstinence education is the only truly effective health education for young people,” said Espenscheid. “No condom-based sex education program has ever been shown to decrease teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, yet sex education programs are in place in thousands of schools across America. America’s kids are being hurt. It’s time for that to change. America’s kids deserve better. They deserve abstinence education.” [Abstinence Clearinghouse Press Release, 2May06, Barb Asleson, 605-335-3643]

PURE FASHION” SHOWS FOR GIRLS CATCHING ON – MEET “MODESTY GUIDELINES”. Pure Fashion Shows are catching on in many cities of the US and even in Canada. Pure Fashion is a project associated with the Challenge Clubs for girls in grades 8-12. Pure Fashion has been described as “models on a mission” to show that girls and women do not have to be “frumpy” to be modest and feminine. Pure Fashion bills itself as an international “faith-based” program that trains girls to dress, wear make-up and style their hair…and “rediscover and reaffirm their innate value and authentic femininity.”

Girls learn deportment and public speaking skills, table manners, and etiquette as well in the Calgary Pure Fashion Model Training program. The course is aimed at helping “young girls develop into young ladies,” through monthly training sessions. The Pure Fashion shows, accompanied by soft rock and pop music, feature the girls who have taken the course dressed in modern fashions that meet the “modesty guidelines”. Many parents have watched with horror as increasingly younger girls imitate the fashion offerings on MTV (and Canada’s equivalent, Much Music) that seem to become more sexually explicit every year.

While Pure Fashion focuses on teaching young girls make-up hair styling techniques, however, there is little emphasis placed on stopping the trend at its roots. Many studies have shown that the extreme emphasis on fashion, and physical perfection, in teen culture is a huge contributing factor in a host of adolescent psychological and social disorders including anorexia and bulimia.  Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have found half of Saturday television commercials are aimed at young girls and focus on physical appearance. The Pure Fashion website says that young girls’ “clothing should not reveal what should be concealed.” Pure Fashion lists its specific “modesty guidelines” on its website, including dresses that cannot be “too tight-fitting,” and no shorter than “four fingers above” the kneecap and dresses are to have a “modest neckline, no lower than four fingers below collar bone.”  [1May06,, White]