|New Study Validates Effectiveness of Abstinence Education|
Should Cause Congress to Rethink Their Elimination of Funding for the Approach
Chattanooga TN- In the battle to discover what works to curb teen sexual activity, a study released today in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine reports important, positive outcomes for high-risk, African-American, middle school students. The study shows that a high-risk population of 6&7 graders receiving abstinence-centered education reduced sexual initiation, reduced the number of sexual partners (a crucial determinant in acquiring an STD), and further showed that abstinence instruction did not deter the use of condoms (a common charge brought by anti-abstinence critics). Of particular note, students were significantly less likely to initiate sex with the abstinence-centered approach than any other sex education strategy. “If we are serious about reaching teens with the skills they need to resist sexual activity, the findings supporting the effectiveness of abstinence education should not be ignored," stated Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association.
Lesley Scearce, Executive Director of Chattanooga’s abstinence-centered organization, On Point: Direction for Life, agrees. “Through On Point’s holistic programs Chattanooga teens have demonstrated significant increase of abstinent behavior and linked positive outcomes such as increased leadership skills, academic improvement, vision for the future, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol. These tangible and essential skills ensure the health and future success of our young people.” The study authors provide insight that these findings are important because the abstinence –centered approach is preferred in many communities throughout the country. “The need to provide American parents with choices regarding the type of sex education their children are offered not only respects local control but underscores the fact that abstinence-centered education is an important response to the complex issue of teen sex. Federal funding guidelines require all abstinence-centered education to be theory-based, medically accurate, and focused exclusively on health - the very tenets that describe the studied abstinence program,” added Huber.
Additional study commentary claims that Abstinence Education is the primary approach funded and promoted by the United States. But, according to Huber, “The reality is that under the Bush Administration, comprehensive sex education received four times the federal dollars as Abstinence Education and reached only 8% of teens. The Obama Administration completely eliminated abstinence education from the 2010 budget, a rash and imprudent decision that jeopardizes the sexual health of America’s youth. The positive outcomes of this study provide President Obama important data for his 2011 budget recommendation to Congress. We urge a crucial course adjustment in funding so that abstinence-centered education can continue to work to reach teens.”
About On Point: Since 1991, On Point partners with schools and civic organizations to build healthy teens by providing the in-depth knowledge, ongoing support and skills needed to achieve a life of excellence. On Point serves 57 schools in Hamilton, Walker, Dade, Catoosa, Whitfield and Gordon Counties.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:49|