What the Research Says-Ab-Only-1[1]

What the Research Says-Ab-Only-1[1] - What the Research...

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What the Research Says… Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs Over the past 25 years, Congress has spent over $1.5 billion on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, yet no study in a professional peer-reviewed journal has found these programs to be broadly effective. Scientific evidence simply does not support an abstinence-only-until-marriage approach. Federal Evaluation Finds Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs Ineffective In April 2007, a federally funded evaluation of Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs was released. The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are ineffective. Of the more than 700 federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, the evaluation looked at only four programs. These programs were handpicked to show positive results and they still failed. 1 Mathematica’s evaluation found no evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs increased rates of sexual abstinence the entire supposed purpose of the programs. Students in the abstinence-only-until-marriage programs had a similar age of first sex and similar numbers of sexual partners as their peers who were not in the programs. The average age of sexual debut was the same for the abstinence-only-until-marriage participants and control groups (14 years, 9 months). Abstinence-Only Programs Do Not Impact Teen Sexual Behavior In early November 2007, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy released Emerging Answers 2007, a report authored by Dr. Douglas Kirby, a leading sexual health researcher, discussing what programs work in preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. The report found strong evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs do not have any impact on teen sexual behavior. 2 The study found that no evidence to support the continued investment of public funds. ―In sum, studies of abstinence prog rams have not produced sufficient evidence to justify their widespread dissemination…Only when strong evidence demonstrates that particular programs are effective should they be disseminated more widely.‖ The study also found that, to date, no abstinence-only-until-marriage program that is of the type to be eligible for funding by the federal government has been found in methodologically rigorous study to positively impact teen sexual behavior. ―At present, there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence, or reduces the number of sexual partners. In addition, there is strong evidence from multiple randomized trials demonstrating that some abstinence programs chosen for evaluation because they were believed to be promising actually had no impact on teen sexual behavior.‖
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Abstinence-Only Programs Do Not Affect Rates of HIV Infection or Sexual Behavior A July 2007 “meta -
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