Reborn a Virgin: Adolescents’ Retracting of Virginity Pledges and Sexual Histories

Harvard Statistics Department, 1 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.23). 07/2006; 96(6):1098-103. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.063305
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We examined retractions of virginity pledges and of sexual histories among adolescents taking part in waves 1 and 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
Logistic regression analyses were used to compare respondents' reports of virginity pledges and sexual histories at waves 1 and 2.Results. Among wave 1 virginity pledgers, 53% denied having made a pledge at wave 2; after control for confounders, pledgers who subsequently initiated sexual activity were 3 times as likely to deny having made a pledge as those who did not initiate sexual activity (odds ratio [OR] = 3.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.04, 5.04). Among wave 1 nonvirgins who subsequently took virginity pledges, 28% retracted their sexual histories at wave 2; respondents who took virginity pledges were almost 4 times as likely as those who did not to retract reports of sexual experience (OR=3.88; 95% CI=1.87, 8.07).
Adolescents who initiate sexual activity are likely to recant virginity pledges, whereas those who take pledges are likely to recant their sexual histories. Thus, evaluations of sexual abstinence programs are vulnerable to unreliable data. In addition, virginity pledgers may incorrectly assess the sexually transmitted disease risks associated with their prepledge sexual behavior.

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Available from: Janet E Rosenbaum, Jul 28, 2015
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    • "It encourages remedial courses over occupational courses, which actually could be taken together or in sequence. It regards backup options as negative, but they actually can lead to good jobs, degree ladders, and student confidence in a payoff (Rosenbaum, et al, 2006, p. 191). "
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    • "For both lifetime recanting and sexual debut date revision, males reported higher rates [12]. Rosenbaum [13] discovered that over half of youth who report taking a virginity pledge at an earlier time denied they ever made such a pledge 1 year later. And, youth who rescinded virginity pledges were four times as likely to rescind sexual experience (i.e., they became ''born again virgins''). "
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    • "Social desirability may also be a factor outside our control. Abstinence pledgers may be more prone to conceal instances of intercourse that they consider experimental or no longer in line with their current behavior (Rosenbaum 2006). This is a limitation to which all survey research on sensitive behaviors is subject. "
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