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The Impact of Abstinence Education

According to a new study by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., abstinence education has little impact on youth sexual activity. Here's Family Research Council’s take on the study:

The four programs that Mathematica evaluated (beginning in 1999) have already been revised and improved, and they are by no means representative of abstinence education as a whole. They also included no high school component—so one logical conclusion is that to achieve the greatest effectiveness, programs must be intensive and long-term, so that the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to reject sex before marriage are constantly reinforced—particularly in the pivotal high school years. Abstinence programs have faced the challenge of improving the services they deliver, and fortunately most have done so. A recent HHS-sponsored conference in Baltimore unveiled evidence from more than two dozen other studies that abstinence programs are producing positive outcomes for youth. For every study that disparages the abstinence approach, there are many others that point to its success and suggest that effective, long-term programs should be given more funding—not less.

Posted on 04/17/07 11:13 AM by Alex Adrianson

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