Effectiveness of Abstinence-Based Sex Education Curricula: A Review

By Toups, Melanie L.; Holmes, William R. | Counseling and Values, April 2002 | Go to article overview

Effectiveness of Abstinence-Based Sex Education Curricula: A Review


Toups, Melanie L., Holmes, William R., Counseling and Values


Teenage premarital sexual activity has become an important concern for parents and educators in recent years. Many attempts have been made to address this problem in order to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The authors review some of those efforts and attempt to identify the approaches that seem to be effective. Implications for research are also presented.

**********

The number of teenagers engaging in premarital sex has become an area of concern for both educators and parents for reasons that include health and pregnancy risks that accompany teenage sexual activity. A school's adoption of an abstinence-based sex education curriculum may have an impact on reducing these numbers. The discussion of the effectiveness of abstinence-based sex education programs, however, has been one of controversy. In recent years, studies have been conducted to discover just how effective these programs are in deterring teenage sexual activity. We review the findings of some of those studies.

The safe sex approach, which advocates contraceptive use, has led teenagers to believe that using contraceptives makes engaging in sexual intercourse a safe behavior ("Sexual Health Update," 1999). Medical evidence indicates that abstinence is the only reliable choice for avoiding pregnancy. In an article that compared the effectiveness of school-based health clinics that distributed birth control and schools that have abstinence programs, evidence showed that abstinence programs were the most effective technique for preventing adolescent sexual activity and pregnancies (Khouzem, 1995). Khouzem cited one study, in particular, that was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and conducted by the Institute for Research and Evaluation. The study included 7,000 Utah teenagers in grades 7 through 10 who were taught a values-based curriculum. Three Title XX programs were implemented in three school districts and later evaluated. These three curricula, Teen-Aid, Sex Respect, and Values and Choices, were written to follow the legislative parameters of abstinence as the preventative measure for teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Pre- and posttest data were collected. Participants in each of the programs were administered two scales: the Affirmation of Abstinence and the Rejection of Permissiveness scales. On the Affirmation of Abstinence scale for both junior and senior high students, each of these programs produced a change that was statistically significant at the .000 level for Sex Respect and Teen-Aid and at the .002 level for Values and Choices. Researchers found significant differences for the Values and Choices curriculum and for the Sex Respect and Teen-Aid curricula in positively affecting students' choices regarding abstinence (Khouzem, 1995; DeGaston, Olsen, Prigmore, & Weed, 1992).

The Teen-Aid abstinence education curriculum has been used in Edinburg, Washington, for 5 years. Each year, a report is published concerning the effectiveness of this curriculum in reducing "risky behavior and attitudes." This program had a statistically significant impact (p = .000) on the likelihood that participants would not have sexual intercourse before marriage and that the nonvirgin teenage participants would cease their sexual activity (p = .001). There was also a statistically significant change (p = .019) in the teenagers' views that waiting until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse was the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (Tanas, 1998).

School officials in San Marcos, California, also implemented an abstinence-based program, Sexuality, Commitment, and Family (Teen-Aid; Richard, 1989) for their junior high school students. This district had one of the highest pregnancy rates in the United States: One in five teenage girls became pregnant during the 19&3-1984 school year (Richard, 1989). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Effectiveness of Abstinence-Based Sex Education Curricula: A Review
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.