Abstinence Education Works – and Should be Funded

Colorado Springs, Colo – Focus on the Family Abstinence Policy and Research Analyst Chad Hills released the following statement in response to a study tracking the efficacy of abstinence education published in the February 2010 Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine which demonstrates the effectiveness of this method:

"This study – one of the most rigorous scientific studies on abstinence ever conducted – confirms what Focus on the Family has been advocating all along: Abstinence education works.

"There are four important take-away points from this landmark research that studied 662 high-risk, African-American, middle-school students. First, those receiving abstinence-centered education initiated sex less. They also had fewer sexual partners. Third, abstinence training did not reduce the use of condoms among the sexually active students in the study.

"The last finding from the study is very telling: students receiving safe-sex and comprehensive sex education showed little difference in comparison to students receiving no formal sex education at all. This result should cause us to question why the federal government drives more funding to comprehensive sex education than to curricula that promote an abstinence perspective.

"The study’s conclusion is, 'Theory-based abstinence-only interventions may have an important role in preventing adolescent sexual involvement.' That’s huge, because we know that preventing and delaying sexual activity in teens can play a major role in helping to ensure future academic, financial and family success – and that this is precisely what today’s youths want.

"When I speak with young people, they are looking for a brighter future – different from what many of their parents experienced during their 'sexual liberation.' Broken and dysfunctional families have become commonplace, but not something they want to replicate. These young adults understand their future family success has its roots in how they lead their lives today. Abstinence-centered programs not only promote healthy sexuality, but also provide hope and a roadmap for future happiness and fulfillment.

"This study on abstinence supplements what previous research has shown. Abstinence-centered education can – and does – work. We hope the Obama Administration will realize this and won’t continue to zero-out funding for abstinence-centered education. We encourage the president to follow the science and use taxpayer money to fund what has been proven to work: abstinence education."

For more information, call Monica Schleicher @ 719-548-5743 or e-mail Monica.Schleicher@fotf.org.