Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association, today released this statement regarding a landmark study on abstinence education released Monday and published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine:
"Science has finally caught up with logic and what parents have known for centuries by empirically demonstrating that equipping teens to abstain from sexual activity is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases."
The National Abstinence Education Association has noted, "A survey from Zogby International showing that when parents become aware of what abstinence education vs. comprehensive sex education actually teaches, support for abstinence programs jumps from 40% to 60%, while support for comprehensive programs drops from 50% to 30%. And 59% of parents said more funding should go to abstinence education; 22% said more should go to comprehensive sex education."*
Dr. Stevens added, "It is notable that John B. Jemmott III, the University of Pennsylvania professor who led the federally funded study, candidly admitted, 'I think we've written off abstinence-only education without looking closely at the nature of the evidence.'"
Dr. Stevens explained, "What we should learn from this experience is that while science itself is objective, scientists themselves can be biased and can mislead the public and policy makers."
Dr. Stevens added, "Many groups and individuals up until yesterday had relentlessly railed against abstinence programs as totally ineffective, even counterproductive. They had used their own studies to convince many legislators, including President Obama, to eliminate federal funding for abstinence programs altogether, in the process depriving teens and their parents from a potent resource that can mean a lifesaving difference.
"It turns out that when it comes to educating their children on matters of sex, Mom and Dad really do know best."