Summary: Abstinence program Successfully Changes
Teens' Attitudes About Sex
Pre-test and post-test attitude assessments of the "Choosing the
Best" abstinence curriculum demonstrate a positive change in
students' attitudes, particularly among non-virgins.
"Choosing the Best"
is a school-based program that attempts to teach the health benefits
of delaying or abstaining from sexual activity during the teenage
years. 3,840 Illinois students participating in the "Choosing the
Best" abstinence curriculum were surveyed regarding their attitudes
toward sex both before and after the program. Students were
identified as most at risk of engaging in sex if they: 1) did not
have two parents in the home; 2) perceived their parents approved of
teen sex; 3) smoked; or 4) had been drunk. Not having two parents in
the home more than doubled the risk of the student having had sex,
and when the student believed that their parents approve of teens
having sex, they were more than 2.5 times more likely to have had
sexual intercourse than students who think their parents would not
approve of such activity. Additionally, students who smoke were more
than 4 times more likely to have sex than non-smokers and students
that had been drunk once before were more than 5.5 times more likely
to have had sex than those students who had never been drunk.
Results showed that after completion of the program, non-virgins
changed their attitudes even more than did virgins. Overall, more
than 75% of students had reliable positive changes toward
John T., Choosing the Best Abstinence Curriculum: Evaluation
Studies Abstinence Evaluation Report 1994-95, Illinois
Department of Public Aid.