Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.
The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.
I suppose abstinence-only education has one thing going for it: It threatens that sex will bring disease and unwanted pregnancy, and for abstinence-pledgers, that threat is more likely to be realized.
The U.S. government has spent more than $1.5 billion on abstinence programs. A lot of that money goes to local anti-choice and religious groups, which provide curriculums telling students that sex tears the petals off of their beautiful roses and that AIDS is spread by sweat and tears. Let’s hope Barack Obama cuts off that gravy train quick.