Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Popular folk wisdom, heavily promoted by groups like Planned Parenthood, says that it is pointless to teach teenagers that premarital sex is wrong. They claim that young people will experiment with sex no matter what they are told. About 20 years ago, the first broad-based, long-range study of this folk wisdom proved it to be a myth.
The five-year study, conducted by an Illinois group called Project Respect, involved 3,500 students at 26 schools. It concluded that middle school sex education that stresses sexual abstinence before marriage does reduce teen pregnancy. The textbook used in the course was Sex Respect: The Option of True Sexual Freedom. It teaches students that abstinence before marriage offers the healthiest approach to life, especially in view of sexually transmitted disease, emotional trauma and pregnancy.
The study found that even two years after the class, the pregnancy rate for girls who took the class was half the national average of ten percent. Fewer males were also involved in causing pregnancies. There was a twenty percent increase in the number of students who agreed, two years after the course, that "sexual urges are always controllable." Other questions also revealed the development of healthier attitudes among teenagers about sexually transmitted diseases and marriage.
Parents and educators should be pleased to learn that education in decency and healthy attitudes toward the gift of sex do work. Perhaps modern educators are finally learning a principle that has been taught by the Bible for thousands of years.
Notes: "Study Show Teaching Abstinence Works." Educator Reporter, May 1991.
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