July 2005: Abstinence

First-year Findings from Federal Longitudinal Study on Abstinence Education New Study Shows 84% of Young Women Use Condoms Incorrectly Parents’ Perceived Disapproval of Sex Cuts Teens’ STD Risk 6 Years Later Abstinence Education Website Alabama Abstinence Grantee Conducts Annual Parent Day Texas Finance Committee De-funds Abstinence Health Books… For past months’ Abstinence headlines, click here. First-year Findings from Federal Longitudinal Study on Abstinence-Education an Important Contribution to Helping Youth Make Healthy Choices – The findings of a major longitudinal study of abstinence-education released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS) provide further evidence that abstinence-education is the only intervention that helps youth avoid risky sexual behavior. The report clearly reveals that students who participate in abstinence-education programs have a fuller understanding of the consequences of early sexual activity and are more likely to recognize the avoidance of sexual behavior as a postive choice. They were also less likely to view having sex in their adolescent years as a healthy choice. These are the findings of a five-year longitudinal study following youth in 4 abstinence-education programs. The report, prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for US DHHS, only explored attitudinal changes of participating youth. It did not examine behavioral changes. The behavioral impact of the programs will be reported after the study concludes in 2006. This report is further evidence that abstinence-education programs, by helping youth understand healthy relationships and the risks of early sexual activity and by strengthening their decision-making and communication skills, are having a positive impact on the lives of students. While pointing out that the findings released focus on attitudinal change and do...