Despite their own findings, the anti-abstinence-only liberals who authored the study maintain that kids who take abstinence pledges should be sexualized.
-- From "Study Critical of Virginity Pledges Reveals that More Religious Teens Embrace Abstinence" by Penny Starr, CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer 12/31/08
A study in the January issue of Pediatrics that is critical of virginity pledges nonetheless reveals that teens who are more religious have their first sexual encounter at the average age of 21, or four years later than teens who are not as religious.
The author of the study, Janice Rosenbaum, a post doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNSNews.com that her analysis shows that among her sample of 934 teens with strong religious backgrounds, both the pledgers and non-pledgers became sexually active at about 21 on average. That is four years later than teens who are not as religious. She said religious beliefs play a role in teens abstaining from sex.
“One year before pledging, pledgers are more religious, less sexually experienced, and hold more negative attitudes about sex and birth control than adolescents who do not go on to take a virginity pledge,” Rosenbaum writes in Pediatrics. “Religious adolescents delay sexual initiation, so virginity pledgers’ prepledge religiosity could induce abstinence without the pledge.”
“It is true that this profile of teenagers, these 934 teenagers that I look at are more conservative in their sexual behavior,” Rosenbaum said.
Religious teens “are more restrained in the sexual choices and that’s because of their social context,” said Rosenbaum. “They are less sexually experienced to begin with. Their friends are engaging in less risk behavior. Their parents also go to church and they are also choosing to go to church and to stay affiliated with evangelical Christianity.”
Nonetheless, Rosenbaum believes her study shows that “abstinence promotion programs” are not a wise policy for the government to advance. “Clinicians should provide birth control information to all adolescents, especially abstinence-only sex education participants.”
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