Looks Like Abstinence-Only Education Works

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by GotZoom, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    TORONTO - Abstinence-only programs can reduce sexual activity among young teens and effectively delay their "sexual debut" without discouraging future condom use, according to a new study of the controversial HIV prevention strategy.

    A study of 662 African-American Grade 6 and 7 students from inner-city middle schools in Philadelphia found those taught an abstinence-only approach to sex were less likely to have had sexual intercourse at 24 months' follow-up compared to those put through a "safer sex" intervention that emphasized condom use but made no mention of abstinence.

    And while Bill Clinton, the former U.S. president, told delegates to the International AIDS Conference in Toronto yesterday that abstinence programs delay sexual activity but make teens less likely to use condoms when they do start having sex, the study found the opposite to be true.

    "It did not reduce intentions to use condoms, it did not reduce beliefs about the efficacy of condoms, it did not decrease consistent condom use and it did not decrease condom use at last sexual [encounter]," lead author John Jemmott, of the University of Pennsylvania, said.


    The youngsters in the study ranged in age from 10 to 15; half were girls. Twenty-three per cent said they had had sexual intercourse at least once before the study began.

    "There aren't any studies that show that children are less likely to use condoms as a result of an abstinence intervention. I've looked in the literature, there are no studies that show that," Mr. Jemmott said in an interview.

    "But you have to be concerned about it, because many abstinence-only until marriage programs give misinformation about condoms and present the failure rates in a way that would discourage people from using them."

    At the massive AIDS meeting being held here this week, abstinence-only programs are about as popular as Alcoholics Anonymous at a brewery. Planned Parenthood has called the approach "one of the religious right's greatest challenge to the nation's sexual health." In the United States, federally funded abstinence programs have been found to push distorted and inaccurate information about sexual health, homosexuality and abortion.

    But Mr. Jemmott said not all abstinence interventions can be lumped together "and thrown away," and there is no logical reason that an abstinence intervention cannot be effective.

    The abstinence intervention in his study promoted abstinence from vaginal, anal and oral sex until a later time in life when youth would be able to handle the consequences of a sexual relationship.

    Researchers removed all mention of condoms, other than telling facilitators not to say anything negative about them. The team involved a researcher from the University of Waterloo.

    The youth were followed for two years. Through role-playing, videos and video clips and group discussions, "We changed the intention to have sex," Mr. Jemmott said. It also delayed the sexual debut of youth who were virgins when the study began.

    "We caused them to have more positive attitudes towards abstinence and the negative consequences of engaging in sexual activity at an early age, including less likely to achieve one's career goals."

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=e02ea152-80e9-4e5e-beaa-e66236850666&k=49376
     
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  2. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    Well, well, well. Aint' that interesting...

    Rep for you, D.
     

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