Teenage virginity pledges are ineffective

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THE recent Harvard study that found teenagers' virginity pledges to be ineffective should come as a surprise to no one. Several studies had already come to that conclusion. If we are truly to help our teenagers adopt the countercultural sexual ethic of abstinence until marriage, Christians concerned about the rampant premarital sex in our communities need to rethink, rather than simply defend, young people's abstinence pledges.

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Teen birth and pregnancy rates have been in a free fall, and there are a few commonly held explanations why. One is that more teens are using the morning-after pill and long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs. The economy might have played a role, since the decline in teen births accelerated during the recession.

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As teenage girls living in Crockett County, Tennessee—a cluster of five tiny towns strung together by a quiet highway, where the culture revolves around the harvesting of cotton, Friday night lights, and Sunday sermons—my friends and I knew the consequences of sex: ruined reputations, questioned faith, and the most unthinkable of all, pregnancy. We had heard the whispering in the hallways; we had read the accusations scribbled on the bathroom stalls. One day during the weeklong sex ed class, the female instructor made a show of tearing a long piece of tape from a dispenser.

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A podcast about pregnancy and drug use, Native people and tribal sovereignty. When I was 13 years old, I pledged my virginity to God and my future husband. I remember walking into my eighth-grade homeroom and proudly showing my teacher my new ring.

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A study by the Guttmacher Institute found that 95 percent of Americans reported having premarital sex by age In fact, according to survey data, premarital sex has been the norm in this country since at least the s. The average age at first sex has declined over the past few decades to

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Yes, virginity pledges, which enjoyed a measure of popularity among child stars including Jordin Sparks, the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, are no longer in the headlines, but nevertheless still exist. Not surprisingly, religion plays a significant role in the degree to which virginity pledges succeed in their goal. Here, researchers demarcate between "religious participation" and "religious commitment," the difference of which is significant when understanding how and why some young adults keep their pledge and others do not.

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Jump to navigation Skip navigation. Evidence shows that sexuality education that stresses the importance of waiting to have sex while providing accurate, age-appropriate, and complete information about how to use contraceptives effectively to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases STDs can help teens make healthy and responsible life decisions. Yet there is currently no federal program dedicated to supporting this approach.

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Remember when virginity pledges were all the rage? It seems like only yesterday when the Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, and Miley Cyrus were snapped by paparazzi sporting purity rings. Enough time has passed to wonder whether past virginity pledges work.

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Bad yet not surprising news for parents whose idea of sex education is making their kids pinky-swear to not have premarital sex: it doesn't work. And not only does it not work, it's not safe. As the Washington Post reports, a new study conducted by Janet E.


    3 thoughts on “Teenage virginity pledges are ineffective

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