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Thread: Big surprise: 'Virginity pledges' don't work

  1. #16
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    This has to be the third or fourth such report in as many years saying that the pledges don't work and yet idiots across the nation continue to buy into this shit. Here's a thought parents: your kid's sexuality is his or her business and if you raise them right, give them the info they need and lots of love and support, chances are they'll make informed decisions at the time that is right for them and not end up guilt ridden and STD ridden due to fucked up 'morality'. Just a thought, mind you.
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  2. #17
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Premarital abstinence pledges ineffective, study finds

    Teenagers Who Make Such Promises Are Just as Likely to Have Sex, and Less Likely to Use Protection, the Data Indicate


    New research shows that, whether or not they wear purity rings or make other pledges that they will protect their virginity, more than half of American teenagers become sexually active before they get married. (By Jonathan Dyer -- Hilton Head Island Packet Via Associated Press)

    Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.
    The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.
    "Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior," said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. "But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking."
    The study is the latest in a series that have raised questions about programs that focus on encouraging abstinence until marriage, including those that specifically ask students to publicly declare their intention to remain virgins. The new analysis, however, goes beyond earlier analyses by focusing on teens who had similar values about sex and other issues before they took a virginity pledge.
    "Previous studies would compare a mixture of apples and oranges," Rosenbaum said. "I tried to pull out the apples and compare only the apples to other apples."

    The findings are reigniting the debate about the effectiveness of abstinence-focused sexual education just as Congress and the new Obama administration are about to reconsider the more than $176 million in annual funding for such programs.
    "This study again raises the issue of why the federal government is continuing to invest in abstinence-only programs," said Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "What have we gained if we only encourage young people to delay sex until they are older, but then when they do become sexually active -- and most do well before marriage -- they don't protect themselves or their partners?"
    James Wagoner of the advocacy group Advocates for Youth agreed: "The Democratic Congress needs to get its head out of the sand and get real about sex education in America."
    Proponents of such programs, however, dismissed the study as flawed and argued that programs that focus on abstinence go much further than simply asking youths to make a one-time promise to remain virgins.
    "It is remarkable that an author who employs rigorous research methodology would then compromise those standards by making wild, ideologically tainted and inaccurate analysis regarding the content of abstinence education programs," said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association.
    Rosenbaum analyzed data collected by the federal government's National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which gathered detailed information from a representative sample of about 11,000 students in grades seven through 12 in 1995, 1996 and 2001.

    Although researchers have analyzed data from that survey before to examine abstinence education programs, the new study is the first to use a more stringent method to account for other factors that could influence the teens' behavior, such as their attitudes about sex before they took the pledge.
    Rosenbaum focused on about 3,400 students who had not had sex or taken a virginity pledge in 1995. She compared 289 students who were 17 years old on average in 1996, when they took a virginity pledge, with 645 who did not take a pledge but were otherwise similar. She based that judgment on about 100 variables, including their attitudes and their parents' attitudes about sex and their perception of their friends' attitudes about sex and birth control.
    "This study came about because somebody who decides to take a virginity pledge tends to be different from the average American teenager. The pledgers tend to be more religious. They tend to be more conservative. They tend to be less positive about sex. There are some striking differences," Rosenbaum said. "So comparing pledgers to all non-pledgers doesn't make a lot of sense."
    By 2001, Rosenbaum found, 82 percent of those who had taken a pledge had retracted their promises, and there was no significant difference in the proportion of students in both groups who had engaged in any type of sexual activity, including giving or receiving oral sex, vaginal intercourse, the age at which they first had sex, or their number of sexual partners. More than half of both groups had engaged in various types of sexual activity, had an average of about three sexual partners and had had sex for the first time by age 21 even if they were unmarried.
    "It seems that pledgers aren't really internalizing the pledge,"

    Rosenbaum said. "Participating in a program doesn't appear to be motivating them to change their behavior. It seems like abstinence has to come from an individual conviction rather than participating in a program."
    While there was no difference in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the two groups, the percentage of students who reported condom use was about 10 points lower for those who had taken the pledge, and they were about 6 percentage points less likely to use any form of contraception. For example, about 24 percent of those who had taken a pledge said they always used a condom, compared with about 34 percent of those who had not.
    Rosenbaum attributed the difference to what youths learn about condoms in abstinence-focused programs.
    "There's been a lot of work that has found that teenagers who take part in abstinence-only education have more negative views about condoms," she said. "They tend not to give accurate information about condoms and birth control."
    But Huber disputed that charge.
    "Abstinence education programs provide accurate information on the level of protection offered through the typical use of condoms and contraception," she said. "Students understand that while condoms may reduce the risk of infection and/or pregnancy, they do not remove the risk."

    Premarital Abstinence Pledges Ineffective, Study Finds - washingtonpost.com

  3. #18
    Gold Member ymeman's Avatar
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    ^that kind of thinking is enough to make fundie heads explode. I was raised in the kind of family where they apparently believed in the 'blank slate' thing, I realize now, where kids are born empty-headed and you 'raise 'em up right', so of course you should have complete control over their sexual expression. Needless to say my parents had a shotgun wedding. And lied about it for years until my sister who is the oldest did the math and came up a couple months shy of a white wedding, unless she had been a preemie, which she wasn't. It was quite a tectonic shock how fully we trusted them.

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    My parents weren't perfect but one thing I will always be thankful for is their willingness to talk to my sister and me about ANYTHING regarding sex. If we asked questions they gave truthful answers and if there was anything they thought we should know, eg birth control and safe sex, they made sure we knew about that too. And there was no shame, embarrassment or guilt involved either - just straight, honest information. I've tried to be the same with my own kids and so far they seem perfectly relaxed about the whole thing because they know the facts, not the propaganda one way or the other. Their sex lives are none of my business BUT there will be hell to pay if they are stupid enough to disregard the info I've given them about how to do it safely and without any unwanted consequences. Mommy's Magic Milkshake remains on standby...
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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Yeah, I give the heathens all the info they ask for and am very open about talking about sex, sexuality, etc. I figure this way they have a good shot at having healthy sex lives that are handled responsibly. They might fuck up but I'm guessing the chances are slimmer this way. And quite frankly, I want them to enjoy sex and not see it as some weird, scary thing that freaks them and others out. Of course, the younger heathen is a tit man and will probably go for the first girl with big knockers and makeup three inches thick. I predict strippers in his future.
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    Well there's a big shock
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I think giving kids the facts is infinitely. i know for me personally, the only thing that kept me from giving it up too soon was fear of pregnancy and STDs, and it wasn't as easy to access BC back then, at least no one told us where to get it. I think asking kids to be virgins for the sake of 'morality' is building a bridge on sand.
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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    There are also parents who organize these things themselves, in their own homes, either with just their child or with a group of families. I know of one family who had a ceremony like this for their daughter. It's almost similar to a wedding ceremony. The father will often give the daughter a "promise" ring, which is worn on the wedding finger, as a symbol of her commitment to remain pure and to allow her father to be the "only man" in her life until she is married. I think this is the type of ceremony that Jessica Simpson had.
    Frankly, I find this very odd. No way would I get together with a group of families and have a purity ceremony for our daughters. Why is it anyone's business if that's the choice the daughter chooses to make, ON HER OWN. To me, the need to broadcast it makes them appear that they need to dangle it as something they are doing to make them better than everyone else.

    I didn't abstain from sex, but I ended up marrying the first person I had sex with. Didn't plan that, and I really dont' recommend it. Ten years later, you'll be wondering about how that hot DILF is in bed. If I knew then what I know now, I would have been a lot sluttier.

  9. #24
    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    I was raised in a Christian family, but I don't recall my parents ever really talking to me about sex from a spiritual or religious perspective, other than telling me if I got pregnant, abortion was not an option. That threat was actually, for me, a very effective preventative.

    We lived in an upscale community where if teenage girls did get pregnant, their parents quietly arranged for an abortion and it was taken care of. My parents made it very clear that wouldn't be the case for us. They are very much against abortion, and they basically said if we got pregnant, we WOULD go through with the pregnancy, right there in our neighborhood (not in a "boarding school" or "trip to Europe"), regardless of how humiliating it may be. If we didn't want the baby, we could put it up for adoption, but we WOULD have it. For my brother, the rule was that if he knocked someone up, he would get a job to support that girl throughout her pregnancy and take responsibility for the child should she choose to keep it.

    They also refused to supply us with birth control while we were living under their roof. Not having access to birth control, or having to pay for it ourselves, also deterred us from fucking, especially when paired with the "no abortions" condition.

    I was very involved in cheerleading, dance, and gymnastics in high school, and my parents encouraged me to focus on those activities and on spending time with my friends, and assured me that I would have plenty of time for dating in college. I was very content to just focus on my extra-curriculars and friends instead of constantly worrying about dating and sex in high school. Most of my friends, like me at the time, also planned to wait until marriage for sex. For most of us, that decision was more about respect for ourselves than about feeling a religious obligation to do so.

    In college, I ended up becoming sexually active. At times, I do still regret it, but I also think that if I were to get married without having slept with a few people, I'd always feel that I had "missed out" on something.

  10. #25
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    I guess a lot of this is about what age you become sexually active. I was a comparatively late started and didn't take the plunge until I was about 18 and that was with a serious boyfriend I'd been dating for about 3 months. I'd had previous bf's but this was the first time I felt ready. I talked about it with my mother and she sent me off to the doctor for some birth control. Once she knew I wasn't going to get preggo she backed off completely and let me get on with it.

    My sister has only ever had sex with her husband. He was her first boyfriend and they married young. They are still happily married but she does admit that she wishes she'd had more "experience".
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  11. #26
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Funny but I was relatively late as well, around 18 with a longterm boyfriend. It was great and an excellent start to my sexual life. He was a doll and loved me to death and then I did as expected and broke his heart. I just always figured I would have sex with someone I cared about and I never looked at my sexuality as a 'gift' for someone else. No one owns or controls my body but me and I'll choose when and where as I see fit. Also, the whole idea that sex is somehow 'impure' is beyond Victorian.
    Last edited by buttmunch; December 30th, 2008 at 11:36 PM.
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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    This has to be the third or fourth such report in as many years saying that the pledges don't work and yet idiots across the nation continue to buy into this shit. Here's a thought parents: your kid's sexuality is his or her business and if you raise them right, give them the info they need and lots of love and support, chances are they'll make informed decisions at the time that is right for them and not end up guilt ridden and STD ridden due to fucked up 'morality'. Just a thought, mind you.
    The Purity Rings and their associated bullshit are just a new way of wallpapering over cracks. Parents can see their child walking about with a silly little ring on their finger and convince themselves that they have done a great job as parents and that they have nothing to worry about, and feel smug that their little angels are pure as the driven snow. It's all about burying your head in the sand and not having to face up to and deal with the reality that your children are growing up and become sexually aware of themselves and others and may well be taking that awareness from theoretical to practical.

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