A new study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine that confirms the effectiveness of abstinence means “science has finally caught up with logic and what parents have known for centuries,” according to the chief of the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association.
“It turns out that when it comes to educating their children on matters of sex, mom and dad really do know best,” said Dr. David Stevens, the CEO of the organization.
His comments followed the report on the study that was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and involved 662 children in Philadelphia. According to reports, the students were split among four options: eight hour-long abstinence-only classes; safe-sex classes, classes with both approaches or classes with general healthy teaching.
Two years later, one-third of abstinence-only students reported having sex since the classes ended. The control group report was at 49 percent. The other two groups were the same as the control group.
According to the study, the classes simply presented the drawbacks to sexual activity for children – not getting into the issue of saving sex for marriage.
It immediately was attacked by Monica Rodriguez, whose Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States advocates “comprehensive” sex education. She told Fox News the study doesn’t mean another abstinence-only program would work.
“It’s unfair to compare this abstinence-only intervention to the typical abstinence-only-until-marriage program that young people in this country have been put through,” she told the network.
The lead author is psychologist John Jemmott III, and Stevens noted that was attention-getting.
Jemmott said, “I think we’ve written off abstinence-only education without looking closely at the nature of the evidence.’
“What we should learn from this experience is that while science itself is objective, scientists themselves can be biased and can mislead the public and policy makers,” Stevens said.
He said it’s just logical that “equipping teens to abstain from sexual activity is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.”
The National Abstinence Education Association has noted, “A survey from Zogby International showing that when parents become aware of what abstinence education vs. comprehensive sex education actually teaches, support for abstinence programs jumps from 40 percent to 60 percent, while support for comprehensive programs drops from 50 percent to 30 percent. And 59 percent of parents said more funding should go to abstinence education; 22 percent said more should go to comprehensive sex education.”
“Many groups and individuals up until yesterday had relentlessly railed against abstinence programs as totally ineffective, even counterproductive,” Stevens said. “They had used their own studies to convince many legislators, including President Obama, to eliminate federal funding for abstinence programs altogether, in the process depriving teens and their parents from a potent resource that can mean a lifesaving difference.
WND previously reported when two members of a Centers for Disease Control team that evaluated studies of sex education programs raised alarms, reporting that the data actually conflicts with the agency’s stated conclusion that comprehensive programs such as those emphasizing “safe sex” over abstinence are working.
The alarms were raised by Irene Ericksen and Danielle Ruedt, two members of the CDC panel that evaluated dozens of studies and came up with the conclusion supporting the so-called “comprehensive” programs that teach children to use condoms.
They issued a minority report to warn policymakers and educators against relying too heavily on the majority document.
“According to this minority report, the study recommendations may mislead policymakers by presenting conclusions that don’t match key study findings,” confirmed Paul Birch, chief of the Institute for Research and Evaluation. “The report is important because it allows differing views on this research to be presented at a time when Congress is re-examining sex education policy.”
The overall study, called “Group-based Interventions to Prevent Adolescent Pregnancy, HIV, and Other STDs,” stated the effectiveness of programs that include condom instruction.
It was based on the compilation of 83 studies done from 1980 through 2007 and was released just in time to be considered for President Obama’s request to cut money from abstinence education programs and give it to comprehensive programs that teach kids to use condoms.
But according to Ericksen, a research analyst with the Institute for Research and Evaluation in Salt Lake City, the statistics inside the study showed no difference between abstinence education and so-called “comprehensive sex education” on key factors including teen condom use, sexual activity, pregnancy and STDs.
According to the South-Dakota-based Abstinence Clearinghouse, the statistics actually revealed that abstinence programs produced a significant reduction in teen sexual activity, as documented by 10 studies from six authors.
“But the researchers discounted these results because several randomized AE studies showed lesser effects, even though these studies had important design problems that called into question their impact,” the organization reported.