Concerned Parents  Report is dedicated to reporting information and imparting knowledge to parents so they can empower their children to make the healthiest choice for their reproductive health - living a  chaste lifestyle

Summary: Virginity Pledges Delay First Intercourse in Adolescents

Adolescents who make a virginity pledge are 34% less likely to become sexually active than peers who do not pledge.

  • According to a study published in the American Journal of Sociology, over 2.5 million adolescents have taken public "virginity pledges" since 1993. A virginity pledge is a promise to abstain from sexual activity until marriage. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of taking an abstinence pledge on the transition to first intercourse. Researchers found that adolescents who pledge are less likely to become sexually active than adolescents who do not pledge. The impact of pledging also appears to be long-lasting. This study also showed family context to have consistent and strong effects on the timing of first intercourse. The adolescents' feelings of closeness and connectedness to parents was shown to delay sexual activity. Additionally, the teens' perceptions of parental disapproval of adolescent sex was shown to delay sexual debut. The conclusions of this study were drawn from data taken from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which was collected at the height of the virginity pledge movement, the period between 1994 and 1996.1

1Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse, The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 106, No. 4, January 2001, pp. 859-912.

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