Press Release – February 12 2009
Evidence from several research studies on abstinence-only programmes and virginity pledges consistently demonstrates that they have no beneficial effect on young people’s sexual behaviour. Research published in the journal Pediatrics in January 2009 found that young people who had taken a “virginity pledge” had the same rate of premarital sex, sexually transmitted infections and engagement in anal or oral sex as young people who did not take a “virginity pledge”.
The average number partners and age at first sex was also the same. Most worryingly, the research found that “pledgers” were less likely to use contraception and condoms and more likely to have a negative attitude towards contraception.
The IFPA supports and provides evidence-based sexuality education programmes that provide young people with the skills and information necessary to make positive and safe choices in their emerging sexual lives. This includes information on contraception and STI prevention and also emphasises personal safety, self esteem, relationships and physical and emotional well being.
Source: Janet Elise Rosenbaum, "Patient Teenagers? A comparision of the Sexual Behaviour of Virginity Pledgers and Matched Nonpledgers", Pediatrics (January 2009)