There is political agenda out there when it comes to sex and our teenagers. And this agenda is to give them condoms because they are going to do it anyway (a fallacy of the sex pushers).
A recent article in the Journal of Adolescent Health presents the right data, but draws the wrong conclusion. Go ahead. Read the abstract (sorry a subscription is need for the full test). The results are:
Pledgers are consistently less likely to be exposed to risk factors across a wide range of indicators, but their STD infection rate does not differ from non-pledgers.
A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune provides us with a little more data. They tell us that the results are:
Almost 7 percent of the students who did not take a pledge were diagnosed with an STD, compared to 6.4 percent of the ”inconsistent pledgers” and 4.6 percent of the ”consistent pledgers.”
It seems to me that the writers of these articles are ignoring a very important thing in this discussion. They are more focused on the “inconsistent pledgers” (youth who said at one time they pledge to be sex free, but then at another time said they hadn’t pledged to do so).
They have almost completely ignored the “consistent pledgers” (those whose pledge to celibacy remained constant throughout the study). When it comes to STD diagnoses, they were almost 2.5 percentage points lower. That can also be said that they were almost half as likely to contract an STD.
But the truth can also be revealed in the risk taking behavior statement. Although, I don’t have the exact numbers, those who remained committed to abstinence during the study, were less likely to participate in sexually risky behaviors.
The conclusion made in the Journal Article, “Adopting virginity pledges as intervention may not be the optimal approach to preventing STD acquisition among young adults,” is misleading. The key word here is may. It appears to me that virginity pledges are working, when they are consistently applied, when the commitment to virginity is kept.
So, the key question should be, “What makes these kids so committed to abstinence?” And the answer is perhaps best discovered in the research from the
North Carolina that shows that religious teenagers are less likely to participate in risky behaviors. We need to get back to God, especially with our teenagers.