Teens' Virginity Pledge: Guess Who Lied? Most teenagers who take the so-called "virginity pledges" are liars. Either they took the pledge and lied about previous sexual activity or they take the pledge as a virgin and then lie about ever having taken it when they have sex at a later date, according to a new study from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Reuters reports that the end result is those who take virginity pledges often provide researchers with unreliable data, which in turn makes it impossible to judge the effectiveness of abstinence-based sex education programs. There is a very real risk to the teenagers themselves since they tend to underestimate their risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. "Teenagers do not report their past sexual activity accurately, with virginity pledgers giving more inaccurate reports of their past sexual activity," study author Janet Rosenbaum told Reuters Health. For this study, she evaluated the retractions of virginity pledges and reports of sexual histories among a nationally representative sample of seventh- through twelfth-grade students who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The surprising results: --In the initial survey in 1995, 13 percent of the teens said they took a virginity pledge. In the follow-up one year later, more than half of this group said they never took such a pledge. --Those who were sexually active in 1996 were more than three times as likely as the others to deny they had ever taken a virginity pledge. --Teens who later denounced a born-again Christian identity they once held were twice as likely to say they had never taken a pledge of virginity. --28 percent of those who had been sexually active in 1995 and later took a virginity pledge retracted their sexual past when they were surveyed in 1996. The study findings were reported in the American Journal of Public Health. http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/menu/index.jsp This is just another indication of why an abstinence only policy is ridiculous. Kids are going to have sex, they should at least know how to do it safely. If you support abstinence only curricula, then you are only doing an injustice to your pro-life stance.