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Researchers at Ohio State University have affirmed what abstinence educators have long been saying: premarital sexual activity, even when limited, is extremely dangerous and carries extraordinary risks.

The study, which tracked the sexual activity of an entire high school over 18 months, showed that more than half of those students who were sexually active were linked to 288 partners.


To determine how teenage sexual activity is webbed, researchers interviewed more than 80 percent of the students at a public high school in the Midwest. By linking current sexual partners with previous sexual partners, researchers found that more than 50 percent of the student body was linked in the same pool of sexual activity.

This new study published in the American Journal of Sociology is not news to abstinence educators and underscores the need for abstinence education.

“Teens need to know the truth,” said Leslee J. Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse. “They need to understand the dangerous realities of being sexually active before marriage. With STD rates skyrocketing among youth, educators need to stop promoting the lie that sex can be “casual” and that it can be free from consequences.”

Besides teaching that only abstinence until marriage provides 100 percent protection against premarital pregnancy and STDs, abstinence education teaches teens the importance of saving sex for marriage. In fact, sharing the concept of sexual exposure is an important component in many abstinence education curricula.

“The time has come to stop playing Russian roulette with our children’s futures. Contraception promoters have taught them that premarital sex can be risk-free when it simply can not,” said Unruh. “Abstinence educators will not give up fighting for kids until the message of abstinence until marriage is heard by every adolescent.”

For more information on abstinence until marriage education, contact the Abstinence Clearinghouse at (605) 335-3643 or visit us on the web at [American Journal of Sociology, Abstinence Clearinghouse Press Release, 01/26/05]