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Teenagers who pledge to remain sexually abstinent until marriage are 34 percent less likely to have sex than those who do not take virginity vows, according to a study to be published in the American Journal of Sociology.

“Pledging decreases the risk of intercourse substantially and independently,” authors Peter S. Bearman and Hannah Brückner wrote.

“Since the beginning of True Love Waits in 1993, we have believed pledges do make a difference.”

Bearman is professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Social and Economic Theory and Research at Columbia University, and Brückner is assistant professor of sociology at Yale University.

“Since the beginning of True Love Waits in 1993, we have believed pledges do make a difference. We have witnessed the leveling off and decline of teen pregnancy since then because the latest CDC report told us so,” Turner of True Love Waits said. “This study provides us with strong data that prove pledges do actually make a difference.”

The study, “Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges as they Affect the Transition to First Intercourse,” appeared in the January 2001 issue of the American Journal of Sociology.

In his 1999 study, Bearman reports that 2.5 million teens in the United States have taken public virginity pledges; however, he believes that figure is closer to three million now. His data was taken from a mid-1990 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (popularly referred to as Add Health).

Bearman pulled his research question from the earlier Add Health study that found teenagers who take pledges of virginity, have loving parents and regard religion and prayer as important are the least likely of all adolescents to report engaging in early sexual behavior. For the complete study article, contact the Abstinence Clearinghouse. “Virginity Pledges by Teenagers Can Be Highly Effective, Federal Study Finds”, The New York Times, January 4, 2001. Click on to print.

“Virginity pledges appear to delay teen sex”, USA TODAY, January 4, 2001. Click on to print. [Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, January 4, 2001, *[email protected]]


TRUE LOVE WAITS launched “Seize the Net”. Contact TLW for info about Valentine’s Day 2002, when thousands of students committed to sexual purity will “sign & mail” TLW cards on the Internet. 1-800-LUV-WAIT;


Generation LIFE – thousands of teens attended the Rock For Life Concert and mega-rally Radical Love in Philadelphia in late July. For info, visit


“Pro-Abstinence Efforts” Credited in Illinois Teen Birth Rate Decline – The IL Dept of Public Health announced that teen births have dropped to the lowest level in 40 years, after a steady 5 year decline. “The environment that’s been created over the past 10 years for teens is making it more comfortable today for them to say no to having sex,” spokesman Schafer said.

In Chicago, the number of teen births totaled 8,637 in 1999, a drop of 7% from 1998. Officials reported a steep drop among girls 17 and under, with a 10% decline from 1998 for that age group. One of the main reasons for the continuing decline is the increased “pro-abstinence effort”, according to the Department of Public Health. “These statistics are a testament to the progress we have made in this state to reduce teen births,” stated Governor George Ryan.

Project Reality, one of the leaders in abstinence-centered education, is based in IL, and has been funded through the Illinois Dept of Human Services since 1987. Project Reality’s programs include abstinence education curricula, training for teachers and a parent education program.

Last year, Project Reality’s classroom programs alone reached over 52,000 middle and high school students in 350 schools across IL. Seven major youth rallies – Reality Check 2000 – entertained and educated over 22,000 students on the benefits of abstinence from sex, drugs and alcohol use. Project Reality’s curriculum/presentations help teens understand that abstinence until marriage is the safest and healthiest lifestyle.

There are currently 29 abstinence programs in IL alone, funded through the federal Title V block grant project, under the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. “As the abstinence message becomes increasingly widespread and accepted across the country… we are confident that this will impact the decline in teen births. The message of prevention through abstinence is working, teens are eagerly listening, and we are seeing the results of this turnaround in the culture,” stated Kathleen M. Sullivan, Dir of Project Reality. For full articles, go to: ** **,1051,SAV-0012150285,00.html [Project Reality News Release;; 12/15/00; 847.729.3298]


A 1999 report from the National Marriage Project found in a survey of high school seniors, 83% of girls & 73% of boys said having a good marriage & family were “extremely important” to them, but only 64% of girls & 59% of boys had confidence that their marriages would last for a lifetime.

[Free Teens U.S.A. 11/00 Newsletter;] [Ed. This is one reason why abstinence education is so important: it gives teens the knowledge and basic skills they need to build strong marriage relationships. Please promote abstinence in your localities!!]

Love is PATIENT. Love is KIND. True Love WAITS…