Concerned Parents  Report is dedicated to reporting information and imparting knowledge to parents so they can empower their children to make the healthiest choice for their reproductive health - living a  chaste lifestyle

 
Summary: Multiple Flaws in Noted Abstinence Education Evaluation

Despite results found in study, abstinence education does work in helping teenagers to delay sex until marriage.
  • According to an article on www.zenit.org, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (a public policy research firm) claimed that a study they had conducted showed that abstinence education programs are not effective. However, Jason Evert, an international chastity speaker, author, and full-time apologist for Catholic Answers, disagreed with the methods and findings of the study. In particular, he found six major flaws in their study. The first flaw was that the students used in the study were between the ages of 9 and 11 years old, which is not an age at which young people generally understand the relevance of an abstinence message; second, the study had no high school component and the students had no follow-up to the program during the teenage years (when they would have needed it the most); third, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. did not evaluate a comparable education program in order to compare their findings; fourth, the majority of the students used for their study were already considered high risk for early sexual activity because they were from broken families, therefore, their behaviors are not representative of most young people; fifth, the sample of the schools studied represented less than 1% of the more than 900 abstinence programs that receive federal funding; and sixth, the abstinence programs that were studied have already been revised and updated and the conclusions that have been drawn from them are outdated. Based on these findings it has become obvious to Jason Evert and many others that the Mathematica study was mainly conducted in attempts to influence congressional leaders to restrict the amount of funding given to abstinence education. The positive aspect of this study is that is shows how desperate the opponents of abstinence education have become. According to this article, if the $6 million research conducted by Mathematica Policy Research is the best case against the effectiveness of abstinence education, their case is clearly weak. More than 30 scientific evaluations have shown that abstinence education reduced sexual activity and has a positive effect on teens. In fact, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that girls who take virginity pledges are 40% less likely to have a child out-of-wedlock than young women who do not make such a pledge. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that teen sexual activity rates have been dropping since 1991, and now the majority of high school students are remaining virgins. In fact, between 1991 and 2005 the sexual activity rate of high school boys dropped twice as quickly as that of high school girls. The increase in abstinence education has played a major role in this new sexual evolution.1

1What Abstinence Education Gets Right: Interview with Chastity Speaker Jason Evert, Innovative Media Inc., July 12, 2007, pp. 1-4.

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