Study Says Teen Virginity Pledges Are a Bust

Federally-funded TV ad promoting abstinence-only sex education.

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has put over $176 million into funding abstinence-only sex education programs, a component of which is asking teenagers to take a pledge that they will remain virgins until after marriage. But a recent analysis of data from a large federal survey revealed that over half of youths became sexually active whether or not they took the pledge. The study also found that teens who took the pledge tended to have more negative views of condoms and to use them less. The percentage of teens who did have sex and took precautions against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers. "This study again raises the issue of why the federal government is continuing to invest in abstinence-only programs," said Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.