|Abstinence Programs Work
14 March 2005
CBN.com - In a culture that promotes easy sex, pledging to remain a virgin until marriage takes commitment.
High school junior Zachary Devlin said, "I officially made this pledge for many reasons. I want to remain committed to myself. I want to wait for that wedding night."
Another high school junior, Alexis Shea, said, "I don't want to have to worry about becoming pregnant."
And a new study, based on data from 17 different federal agencies, shows that abstinence-based programs like “True Love Waits” really do work. The study finds that teens who pledge are:
- 12 times more likely to remain virgins until marriage
- One-third less likely to become pregnant while in high school
- 40 percent less likely to have a baby out of wedlock.
It also finds that pledgers have fewer sexual partners during their lifetime, and that they delay sexual activity by close to three years.
Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic policy for the Heritage Foundation, said, "We find that 60 percent of those who take a pledge will delay sexual intercourse until after their 18th birthday, compared to 37 percent of their peers. That's a pretty significant difference."
Kim Gordon teaches abstinence education classes in Pennsylvania. Gordon says, "Friendship is a good basis for marriage, and marriage is a good basis for a sexual relationship."
She pledged when she was a teen, and after staying the course, she has become a role model for other kids.
Gordon said, "My parents instilled in me that there were more important things to do in high school."
Studies show that the economic and social effects of out-of-wedlock births can be devastating. Kids raised by single parents are seven times more likely to live in poverty, more likely to become dependent on welfare programs and to suffer from a wide range of social problems.
With more than a million children in the U.S. born outside of marriage every year, supporters say that pledging abstinence makes a lot of sense.
By Darla Sitton - CBN News Producer
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