Abstinence education won big today
in the first study to evaluate such a curriculum using a carefully “controlled” design that compared it directly to alternative strategies — considered the highest level of scientific evidence.
In the study, African-American 6th and 7th grade students were assigned to one of five programs: an 8-hour curriculum that encouraged them to delay having sex; an 8-hour program focused on teaching safe sex; an 8- or 12-hour program that did both; or an 8-hour program focused on teaching the youngsters other ways to be healthy, such as eating well and exercising.
Over the next 2 years, only 33% of the students who went through the abstinence program started having sex, compared to 52 % who were just taught safe sex.
47% of the students became sexually active after just learning about other ways to be healthy and 42% started having sex from the comprehensive program (heavily lobbied for at the Kansas Capitol by Planned Parenthood under the name ‘Abstinence-Plus.’)
In 2006, the Kansas Board of Education issued guidelines recommending that schools focus on abstinence until marriage (the program with better results according to today’s study) and adopt an opt-in policy for sexuality education classes. The guidelines were not a mandate and school districts could still choose a more comprehensive program or an opt-out policy. After pro-abortion money played a major role in changing the makeup of the Board, new guidelines were soon passed in 2007 that no longer ask teachers to stress abstinence until marriage.
The Obama administration eliminated more than $150 million in federal funding targeted at abstinence programs this year, instead launching a new pregnancy prevention initiative ($183 million) that will fund only programs that have been shown scientifically to work.
The questioned effectiveness of abstinence programs has been the weapon used by those wanting Planned Parenthood to remain in charge of instructing teens about sex and pushing chemical contraceptives, Planned Parenthood’s cash-cow.
However, even non-pro-life entities like the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy called this study “game-changing… strong evidence that an abstinence-only intervention can help very young teens delay sex and reduce their recent sexual activity as well.”