Summary: Abstinence-only Program
Prevents Pregnancy Through High School
While going through a process of emotional growth in adolescence,
teens frequently get involved in risky sexual behaviors that expose
them to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Researchers have found that abstinence-only sex education
intervention programs are effective in the prevention of unintended
While going through a process of emotional growth
in adolescence, teens frequently get involved in risky sexual
behavior that exposes them to unintended pregnancy and sexually
transmitted infections. Several studies have dealt with the challenging issue of preventing
adolescent pregnancy and some of them have achieved satisfactory
results. However, these studies are faulty in two aspects: 1) they
are merely observational studies and 2) they promote sex and the use
of birth control. There have been other programs developed that
promote ABSTINENCE, rather than birth control, as a part of sex
education. With that goal in mind, the authors of the study
described here started a sex education program for adolescent girls in a public high school
located in San Bernardo, a community of Santiago, Chile. The program
was applied as a randomized, prospective, controlled trial that
compared an abstinence-centered intervention with no intervention.
The objective of the study was to contrast pregnancy rates among
female students who participated in the sex education program (TeenSTAR)
with those of other female students who did not take part in the
program. As a result of the study, researchers found that the
abstinence-only TeenSTAR sex education intervention applied was
effective in the prevention of unintended adolescent pregnancies.
In addition, if applied during the first year of high school, the
impact of TeenSTAR on pregnancy prevention can extend for at least 4
years of high school.1
Pregnancy Prevention: An Abstinence-Centered Randomized Controlled
Intervention in a Chilean Public High School,
Journal of Adolescent Health, 2005, pp. 64-69.