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Bruce Cook – President & Founder of Choosing the Best
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Abstinence Education More Effective than Comprehensive or Safe Sex Programs

Atlanta, February 3, 2010 — A new study shows that abstinence education significantly reduces the initiation of teen sex and is more effective than either comprehensive or safe sex programs. Published in the current issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the study evaluated urban, middle school students receiving one of three different types of sex education programs:

  1. Abstinence-Centered
  2. Safe Sex (promoted condoms only)
  3. Comprehensive (promoted condom use and abstinence)

Abstinence education was found to have a significant and long-term positive impact on reducing teen sex. After 24 months, teens who received the abstinence program were 33% less likely than the control group to have ever had intercourse. Neither the safe sex program nor the comprehensive program significantly reduced sexual initiation.

Hailed by some as a groundbreaking study, the findings confirmed that abstinence education is effective among urban, high-risk teens. The participants of the study included over 600 urban, low income, African American teens, a population at high risk for pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.

Another key finding in the study is that abstinence education does not reduce condom use among teens who do have sex, refuting a claim commonly made by opponents of abstinence education. There was no significant difference found in condom use between students who received abstinence education and the control group.

Bruce Cook, President and CEO of Choosing the Best, says he is not at all surprised by the results of the study. “These findings are consistent with the positive results we’ve seen at Choosing the Best.” In independent research, Choosing the Best programs have been proven to reduce teen sex by 47%. However, Cook acknowledged that this new study is particularly exciting, noting, “This new study will convince even the harshest of critics that abstinence education works, is more effective than other approaches, and must be provided to help ensure the health of our children.”