Virginity pledges don’t work

9 05 2006

So-called “virginity pledges” are all the rage in the US, where “abstinence education” programmes receive millions of dollars in Bush administration funding. And it appears all of that money which is not being channelled into health might as well have been flushed down the toilet:

Virginity pledges, in which young people vow to abstain from sex until marriage, have little staying power among those who take them, a Harvard study has found.

In fact, more than half the adolescents who make such signed, public promises give up on their pledges within a year, according to the study released this week.

I prefer the “abstinence education” provided the Catholic high school I attended. You got the whole kit-and-caboodle of a normal sex-ed course, with a remark from the teacher that the Church frowns on pre-marital sex tacked onto the end. A far more reality-based approach, in my view.

Via Morons.org, which proposes an alternative pledge:

I, ______________, do solemnly promise to educate myself about sexual safety and hygiene. I promise to choose a willing, compatible partner, to discuss sex openly with that partner at an appropriate time in our relationship, and to have wild, hot sex with that partner, when the time and place are right for us. I promise to get sweaty, sticky and lubricated, possibly mildly scratched or bruised. Lastly, I promise never to let Janice Crouse or any of her right-wing religious extremist friends or business partners tell me when I should have sex or with whom I should have it… because not only do they not run my life, they have no idea what they’re talking about.

And here’s the local wingnut position on abstinence education.

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