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Bruce Cook – President & Founder of Choosing the Best
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Zogby Survey Shows Dramatic Shift in Attitudes Once Parents Understand Differences Between Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex Education

Atlanta, May 4, 2007 — The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) today released a new 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% to 60%, while support for comprehensive programs drops from 50% to 30%. This sharp increase in support of abstinence education is seen across all political and economic groups.

“These results confirm broad-based support for abstinence education, including teaching teens about developing healthy relationships and increasing self worth and self control,” said Valerie Huber, executive director of the NAEA

The survey also showed overwhelming parental support for how abstinence programs permit an age-appropriate discussion of contraception within the context of promoting abstinence as the healthiest choice. In line with the abstinence education approach, most parents said they want their children to be taught the limitations of condoms in providing complete protection against specific STDs and to learn how often condoms fail in preventing pregnancy based upon typical use. The majority of parents reject the so-called “comprehensive” sex education approach, which focuses on promoting and demonstrating contraceptive use. Sixty-six percent of parents think that the importance of the “wait to have sex” message ends up being lost when programs demonstrate and encourage the use of contraception.

“Across the board, parents are the biggest champions of abstinence education in their communities,” said Bruce Cook, President and CEO of Choosing the Best.Choosing the Best is a leading provider of abstinence education curricula and training, serving school districts nationwide. “They know the abstinence message is best for their child’s health and future and are very uncomfortable with comprehensive programs, which suggest that it’s ok for kids to go ahead and have sex, as long as they use a condom.”

Key Facts from the Survey

  • 59% of parents said more funding should go to abstinence education; 22% said more should go to comprehensive sex education.
  • 83% of parents think it is important for their child to wait until they are married to have sex.
  • 78% of parents think sex education classes in public schools should place more emphasis on promoting abstinence than on condom and other contraceptive use.
  • 93% of parents agree sex education should include a discussion about the limitations of condoms in preventing specific STDs.

“This poll confirms that abstinence education is the preferred approach for the sex education of youth in America,” said Valerie Huber. Zogby International conducted a telephone survey of 1002 parents of children ages 10-16. The margin of error was +/- 3.2 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. Access the entire survey from Zogby International at www.abstinenceassociation.org.