The limits of abstinence-only in preventing sexually transmitted infections

Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 3.61). 05/2005; 36(4):269-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2005.02.001
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    • "Simply put, religious and moral motivations can and do influence sexual decision-making among American adolescents. On the other hand, religious and moral motivations are not a " silver bullet " when it comes to eradicating STDs and teenage pregnancy, as Fortenberry (2005) suggests. From a public health perspective, abstinence-only programs such as pledging may be incomplete, and policymakers should consider more comprehensive programs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reports from academic and media sources assert that many young people substitute non-vaginal sexual activities for vaginal intercourse in order to maintain what could be called "technical virginity." Explanations for technical virginity, however, are based on weak empirical evidence and considerable speculation. Using a sample of 15-19-year-olds from Cycle 6 of the National Survey of Family Growth, we examine technical virginity and its motivations. The results suggest that religious adolescents are less likely than less-religious ones to opt for non-vaginal sex over total abstinence. Abstinence pledgers who are virgins are neither more nor less likely than nonpledgers who are virgins to substitute non-vaginal sex for intercourse. Moreover, religion and morality are actually the weakest motivators of sexual substitution among adolescents who have not had vaginal sex. Preserving technical virginity is instead more common among virgins who are driven by a desire to avoid potential life-altering consequences, like pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
    Social Science Research 01/2009; 37(4):1200-15. DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2007.09.006 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "This relates to previous research findings that guilt is often a precursor to obsessive and paranoid thinking as well as isolation and rationalization (Moore & Davidson, 1997). Again, abstinence education in the absence of contraceptive and " safe sex " education by parents/caregivers and educators alike may be negative because it may decrease the perceived risk of sexual activity, decrease the preparedness for sexual involvement, and increase belief in sexual myths (Fortenberry, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract: Sex education for children and teens is of great concern not only to parents and religious officials but also to national health advocates due to the high rate of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease prevalence in this population. In the present study, formal and informal sex education including "safe sex"/ contraceptive teaching only, abstinence-only, and abstinence-plus "safe sex" education were examined to determine correlates with sex guilt and specific sexual attitudes and behaviors including communication with sexual partner(s), sexual satisfaction, and contraceptive use at present and at time of first intercourse. Retrospective questionnaires were given to 171 male and female participants and the participants were asked to reveal past and present sex education experiences, sexual activities and behaviors, and sexual attitudes. Familial and partner relationships as well as sex guilt were also examined. Abstinence education, a component of certain sex education programs that promote virginity until marriage but generally ignore the safety precautions of sexual relations if sexual activity begins prior to that time, positively correlated with overall sex guilt and communication with sexual partners about pregnancy and negatively correlated with contraceptive use communication with sexual partners about contraception. No correlations were found between sex education and sexual satisfaction. Title from first page of PDF file. Document formattted into pages: contains 35 p.; also includes graphics. Thesis (Honors)--Ohio State University, 2006. Includes bibliographical references (p. 34-35). System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF viewer.
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