T Nation

Study Finds Abstinence Programs Work

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,584519,00.html

CHICAGO â?? An experimental abstinence-only program without a moralistic tone can delay young teens from having sex, a new study found.

Billed as the first rigorous research to show long-term success with an abstinence-only approach, the study released Monday differed from traditional programs that have lost U.S. federal and state support in recent years.

The classes didn’t preach saving sex until marriage or disparage condom use. Instead, they involved assignments to help students around the age of 12 see the drawbacks to sexual activity at their age. It included having them list the pros and cons themselves, and it found their “cons” far outnumbered the “pros.”

The study appears in the February edition of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. It was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and involved 662 black children in Philadelphia.

The students were assigned to one of four options: eight hour-long abstinence-only classes; safe-sex classes; classes incorporating both approaches; or classes in general healthy behavior. Results for the first three classes were compared with the group that had only the general health classes. That was the “control group” the study used for comparison.

Two years later, about one-third of abstinence-only students said they’d had sex since the classes ended, versus nearly half â?? about 49 percent â?? of the control group. Sexual activity rates in the other two groups didn’t differ from the control group.

Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Program, praised the study and said she hopes it revives government interest in abstinence-only sex education.

Critics of abstinence-only programs have long argued that most evidence shows they don’t work. The new study challenges that, but even the authors say the results don’t mean that more comprehensive sex education should be ignored.

The abstinence-only program was based on social psychology theories about what motivates behavior. It encouraged abstinence as a way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Psychologist John Jemmott III, the lead author, called the findings surprising given negative results in previous abstinence-only research. Jemmott said the single focus may have been better at encouraging abstinence than the other approaches in his study.

“The message was not mixed with any other messages,” said Jemmott, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has long studied ways to reduce risky behavior among inner-city youngsters.

Monica Rodriguez of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, an advocacy group favoring comprehensive sex education, said the study doesn’t mean other abstinence-only programs 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 said. These typically portray sex and condom use in a more negative light, she said.

Rodriguez said the program studied might be one approach to try with younger children, but that it probably would be less successful with older, more sexually experienced teens.

Almost one-fourth of the teens studied said they’d already had sex at least once, similar to other studies of urban, mostly black children of middle school age, around 11 to 13.

I couldn’t even comprehend how the spun the facts on this one.

You have a dick? You know teenagers? There.

It doesn’t work.
It’s as effective as curing gays.


see you next week, with more sensational Faux News:
Why prayer is more effective then science!

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
I couldn’t even comprehend how the spun the facts on this one.

You have a dick? You know teenagers? There.

It doesn’t work.
It’s as effective as curing gays.


see you next week, with more sensational Faux News:
Why prayer is more effective then science!

[/quote]

This.

The problem I see with abstinence only programs is that they only teach abstinence. I’ve seen studies from classes I’ve taken show the rates of happy marriages and divorce rates higher than people who are sexually socialized “normally”. A lot of abstinence programs shine negative lights on sex from n early age which confuses kids. From that, psychological disorders such as depression are higher possibilities.

Basically

Contraception is rarely taught because nobody discusses sex

The psychosexual development is cut off in its blooming stages

The “dangers” of sex are the focal points in these programs which can cause extreme guilt

Pleasurable sex is frowned upon early and that attitude carries over into adulthood.

As much as this study wants you to believe it was bare bones a/o it most likely was biased or else the kids wouldnt have been only black. On that note this study can’t be used as a universal as it only used one culture as a base.

The age of kids the study used is KEY here. How do we know the “fat n smelly” kids were’nt purposely placed in the a/o group. If that happens to be the case of course nobody is gonna fuck the kid that smells like cat piss. Also sexual confusion is huge at this age I doubt they considered homosexuality or identity confusion either. How could they? How many junior high kids do you know that are brave enough to say “HAI I LIKE BOYS” It takes years to come to terms with being different in your orientation, especially in the unforgiving black community. On that note, what about trans kids?

basically this study

used an invalid sample to assume a universal

is likely to have manipulated the group’s attractiveness by placing less hot kids in the a/o group

doesnt consider homosexuality/trans identities

doesnt consider the home life of its a/o group. A thought comes to mind that maybe in interviewing the kids they asked about god and based on that answer they divided the groups.

I am a subscriber to all kinds of psych mags/journals. I will definitely keep an out out for this study. Anyway just looking at the news company in the link already sets up a flag. jk lol

Early morning rambling over

Legs in about an hour! I feel great!!

Have a good one everybody. WICKED!!!

Good stuff. The fact that they don’t demonize sex is what makes it work.

It is very funny that when the scientific evidence is contrary to a position, people discount it as junk science. However, when the evidence supports their position, then they post it all over the internet.

Me- the majority of the evidence shows that abstinence-only programs are worthless at best and harmful at worst. One study does not stack up against the multiple studies showing that it is not an effective way to prepare teenagers for the world.

jnd

This looks like a good study. It was funded by NIH, not some light weights like the FRC. The researchers were from The University of Pennsylvania and Waterloo University (Canada). Penn is a great school, but I don’t know much about Waterloo.

The press release is straight from the AP, not Fox so it appears unspun. The study had 662 subjects so that gives it pretty good power and it appears in a legit peer reviewed journal, not some church publication. Here are a few more study titals from the same issue of that journal:

“Metformin Extended Release Treatment of Adolescent Obesity: A 48-Week Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial With 48-Week Follow-up”

“Fasting Plasma Glucose Levels Within the Normoglycemic Range in Childhood as a Predictor of Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes in Adulthood: The Bogalusa Heart Study”

“Body Mass Index and Timing of Pubertal Initiation in Boys”

Humans in their later teenage years are generally going to be sexually active and the emphasis on that age group should be safe sex practices. In this study though they were working with 12 year olds! Any non religeous based program that keeps these kids from having sex until they’re older sounds like a good idea to me.

Damn, I was looking forward to nailin’ some teenagers. Guess I’ll have to move up to co-eds.

[quote]John S. wrote:

CHICAGO â?? An experimental abstinence-only program without a moralistic tone can delay young teens from having sex, a new study found.

Billed as the first rigorous research to show long-term success with an abstinence-only approach, the study released Monday differed from traditional programs that have lost U.S. federal and state support in recent years.

The classes didn’t preach saving sex until marriage or disparage condom use. Instead, they involved assignments to help students around the age of 12 see the drawbacks to sexual activity at their age. It included having them list the pros and cons themselves, and it found their “cons” far outnumbered the “pros.”

The study appears in the February edition of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. It was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and involved 662 black children in Philadelphia.

The students were assigned to one of four options: eight hour-long abstinence-only classes; safe-sex classes; classes incorporating both approaches; or classes in general healthy behavior. Results for the first three classes were compared with the group that had only the general health classes. That was the “control group” the study used for comparison.

Two years later, about one-third of abstinence-only students said they’d had sex since the classes ended, versus nearly half â?? about 49 percent â?? of the control group. Sexual activity rates in the other two groups didn’t differ from the control group.

Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Program, praised the study and said she hopes it revives government interest in abstinence-only sex education.

Critics of abstinence-only programs have long argued that most evidence shows they don’t work. The new study challenges that, but even the authors say the results don’t mean that more comprehensive sex education should be ignored.

The abstinence-only program was based on social psychology theories about what motivates behavior. It encouraged abstinence as a way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Psychologist John Jemmott III, the lead author, called the findings surprising given negative results in previous abstinence-only research. Jemmott said the single focus may have been better at encouraging abstinence than the other approaches in his study.

“The message was not mixed with any other messages,” said Jemmott, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has long studied ways to reduce risky behavior among inner-city youngsters.

Monica Rodriguez of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, an advocacy group favoring comprehensive sex education, said the study doesn’t mean other abstinence-only programs 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 said. These typically portray sex and condom use in a more negative light, she said.

Rodriguez said the program studied might be one approach to try with younger children, but that it probably would be less successful with older, more sexually experienced teens.

Almost one-fourth of the teens studied said they’d already had sex at least once, similar to other studies of urban, mostly black children of middle school age, around 11 to 13.
[/quote]

Got to love that Christian right NOT :slight_smile: I personally think John S has no penis that is why he believes this shit

I’m curious to know how often the kids who did have sex used condoms, got pregnant, etc.

12-year-olds, Dude.

Thought provoking. Let’s go into more detail.

To put the results into context:

'[…]Jemmott and colleagues indicated that the abstinence-only program used in the study was unusual. In fact, it would not have qualified for abstinence-only federal funding because it did not rely on moral principles, nor did it criticize condom usage.

But its benefits in the study appeared limited to delaying sexual initiation, with no reductions in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex and having multiple partners.

In an accompanying editorial, two other researchers warned against interpreting the study to justify policies to promote abstinence-only education.

“No public policy should be based on the results of one study, nor should policy makers selectively use scientific literature to formulate a policy that meets preconceived ideologies,” wrote Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and Alain Joffe, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins University.[…]

Although the abstinence-only program appeared more effective in delaying sexual initiation, it had little or no effect on other sexual behaviors including multiple sex partners, engaging in unprotected sex, and consistency in condom use. […]’

So, the benefits seem to be limited - and the abstinence programme seems different from current policies anyway. What’s quite interesting is that condom use seems to be have been not discouraged as part of the programme - as opposed to what’s out there now.

Read the abstract here:

[…]Results: The participants’ mean age was 12.2 years; 53.5% were girls; and 84.4% were still enrolled at 24 months. Abstinence-only intervention reduced sexual initiation (risk ratio [RR], 0.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48-0.96). The model-estimated probability of ever having sexual intercourse by the 24-month follow-up was 33.5% in the abstinence-only intervention and 48.5% in the control group. Fewer abstinence-only intervention participants (20.6%) than control participants (29.0%) reported having coitus in the previous 3 months during the follow-up period (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.90-0.99). Abstinence-only intervention did not affect condom use. The 8-hour (RR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.92-1.00) and 12-hour comprehensive (RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91-0.99) interventions reduced reports of having multiple partners compared with the control group. No other differences between interventions and controls were significant.[…]

So, that’s all fine and dandy: It shows that an atypical, non-moralistic abstinence programme that doesn’t discourage condom use (and doesn’t fit the federal funding standards) has worked within a self-reporting ethnically and age selected group brings a slight benefit on one indicator (intercourse) - but doesn’t significantly affect others (multiple partners, etc.). Not more, not less.

I’ve got no problem with that: the study seems fine so far, and its results aren’t earth shaking. But they don’t confirm that abstinence only programmes (as currently implemented) ‘work’ in general (for reasons see above).

So, nothing changes? But yes, something has changed - when I googled the study (it’s one day old), I got this result: 33,200 Google results for ‘abstinence-only Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine John Jemmott III’. Wow - that’s a lot for something that new, and of relatively low significance.

That doesn’t seem to detract some really interesting (mis)interpretations from some pressure groups:

'[…]Pro-life leaders hailed the study as reflecting a common sense approach to sex education initiatives.

‘‘We have known for years that teaching abstinence changes lives," Leslee Unruh, founder of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). "Abstinence education treats the whole being, teaching youth to respect themselves, set goals, avoid risky behavior to have a healthy future.’’

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America remarked: ‘‘Once again, science validate a moral truth â?? that promoting chastity leads to healthier lifestyles.’’ […]’

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/feb/10020108.html

When you read the abstract and the commentary in the sources above, it very clearly states that this single study does not confirm that this study did not confirm that abstinence education as currently practiced yields this benefit, that a moral tone was not applied and that other risk behaviours were not affected. But hey, if we have 33,200 results after one day, you can just wait until the results will be spun to justify whatever suits specific groups.

So, in summary: looks like good study with limited result, with the authors asking not make it a base for policy decisions, and asking for further studies - but that is expected to get lost somewhere in the media storm that has already ensued.

Makkun

[quote]ephrem wrote:
12-year-olds, Dude.[/quote]

Best post so far. Lol.

Makkun

Yeah, abstinence programs work…as long as you have enough self control to be abstinent.

[quote]jnd wrote:
It is very funny that when the scientific evidence is contrary to a position, people discount it as junk science. However, when the evidence supports their position, then they post it all over the internet.

Me- the majority of the evidence shows that abstinence-only programs are worthless at best and harmful at worst. One study does not stack up against the multiple studies showing that it is not an effective way to prepare teenagers for the world.

jnd[/quote]

As for this, I don’t agree. Firstly I’ve never called either side junk science on this just because one agreed with a personal opinion or not. One thing that people who aren’t in science professionally tend to misunderstand–chronically–is that just because a majority of studies show something doesn’t mean that a) further research isn’t warrented or b) that those studies weren’t wrong in some aspect anyways.

Consensus is the realm of politics, not science. Given that a sizeable majority of scientific studies on any single topic will be wrong in some significant aspect, it is inappropriate to invoke some scientific consensus in making arguments the majority of the time. There are times when it is appropriate but it is not a clear cut boundary. There are conflicting studies in all fields of science all the time, and to ascribe some sort of monolithic authority to any position in a scientific field is often largely incorrect.

For example, the existence of black holes was against the very considerable scientific “consesus” at the time, for more than 30 years. But they exist. Science is about testing things, not generating a consensus.

This study seems to be fairly good, and funded by a major entity. Which means more research is warranted.

[quote]makkun wrote:

So, in summary: looks like good study with limited result, with the authors asking not make it a base for policy decisions, and asking for further studies - but that is expected to get lost somewhere in the media storm that has already ensued.

Makkun[/quote]

This.

[quote]ephrem wrote:
8-year-olds, Dude.[/quote]

FTFY

[quote]ephrem wrote:
12-year-olds, Dude.[/quote]

that, was going to be my exact post, (except to place the “dude” part before the rest)

painfully idiotic way to promote “success story of abstinence work”

When I was 12 years old, girls were the guys who couldn’t play football and wouldn’t like to talk about Optimus Prime.
And pussys were cats.

DUDE, 12(!!) YEAR OLDS!, (!!!)

p.s. !!

if it didnt disparage condom use, how was it an abstinance program? what else what people be doing with condoms?

sounds more like a, “stop and think about your actions and possible consiquences” program.

I do not believe in Abstinence, I just do not think schools should be teaching sex education that should be the parents job.

I was just posting this article because I found it interesting.

[quote]John S. wrote:
I do not believe in Abstinence, I just do not think schools should be teaching sex education that should be the parents job.

I was just posting this article because I found it interesting.[/quote]

I agree. It’s just unfortunate that a lot of parents aren’t doing their job in this respect.