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Raising Questions About Virginity Pledges

If you're a new mother, the last thing you want to think about is your precious, innocent child going out into the world and becoming sexually active. If that child is already a teenager, perhaps you're hoping that they'll remain chaste until they're older or even married. Before you get your hopes up, though, there is some federal research worth considering.

A new study concludes that teens who take vows of chastity are just as likely to engage in sexual behaviors as other teens. According to the federal survey, more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether or not they had pledged to remain abstinent, however those who had taken virginity pledges were less likely to take precautions against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

This new analysis by Janet Rosenbaum, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, and takes into account all relevant data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Rosenbaum compared the results of teens who had taken virginity pledges with those who had not, while careful to consider people of similar religious and cultural backgrounds.

For more in depth analysis of this study:



OPPOSING VIEWS ASKS: Do you think virginity pledges are effective?



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