Abstinence as Good Decision
Billed as the first rigorous research to show long-term success with an abstinence-only approach, the study differed from traditional programs that have lost federal and state support in recent years. The classes didn’t preach saving sex until marriage or disparage condom use.
Instead, it involved assignments to help sixth- and seventh graders see the drawbacks to sexual activity at their age, including having them list the pros and cons themselves. Their cons far outnumbered the pros. …
Two years later, about one-third of abstinence-only students said they’d had sex since the classes ended, versus nearly half — about 49 percent — of the control group. Sexual activity rates in the other two groups didn’t differ from the control group.
The bottom line is this: Safe-sex education gives children knowledge about how to do something — and tells them that it’s “safe.” Effective abstinence-only curricula help them to understand why they shouldn’t act on that knowledge.
Such programs should involve lessons in self esteem, in decision-making, in life decisions, in cultural expectations, and so on. What our society must learn, above all, is that sex is not the be-all-end-all of human existence, and that at a young life can be much better spent than dealing with the obstacles, discomforts, and obsessions that typically follow sexual activity outside of monogamous adult relationships.