Abstinence education works

August 19, 2013

In response to the letter, “Young minds and bodies: Is ignorance bliss?” (August 13), we want to offer another perspective.

A study tracking the efficacy of abstinence education published in the February 2010 Archives of Paediatric & Adolescent Medicine proves that abstinence education works.

This landmark research studied 662 high-risk African-American students between 11 to 13 years old and made four important findings. First, those receiving abstinence-centred education initiated sex less. They also had fewer sexual partners. Lastly, students receiving safe-sex and comprehensive sex education showed little difference in comparison to students receiving no formal sex education at all.[1]

Hence, this shows that with the right guidance and the proper teaching of values and boundaries, young people can be trusted to make wise decisions to abstain from premature sexual activities.

Research has also found that marriages and families tend to survive for a lifetime when entered into by two loving, mutually monogamous individuals who have saved themselves sexually for each other and remain faithful to one another.[2] Therefore, both abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage have historically protected and will continue to protect individuals and society.

Parents should always be the primary communicators with their children about sexuality, imparting beliefs, values, morals, ethics and family religious positions. No effective program can operate without the support and involvement of parents. Schools should want parental involvement and do everything in their power to cooperate with parents in sexuality education.[3]

Abstinence-centred education can and does work with the support of parents and the society. It not only promotes healthy sexuality, but also provides hope and a roadmap for future happiness and fulfilment for a young person.[4]


[1] Focus on the Family, “Abstinence Education Works – and Should be Funded”, online: <http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about_us/news_room/news-releases/20100203-abstinence-education-works.aspx&gt;.

[2]Brigham Young University, “Compatibility or restraint? The effects of sexual timing on marriage relationships”, online: http://news.byu.edu/archive10-dec-benefits.aspx

[3] Focus on the Family, “Sex Education”, online: <http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/defending-your-values/sex-education.aspx&gt;.

[4] Focus on the Family, “Abstinence Education Works – and Should be Funded”, online: <http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about_us/news_room/news-releases/20100203-abstinence-education-works.aspx&gt;.

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