How Effective is Abstinence Education?

September 24, 2008 | NeW Staff

The sexual liberation movement has had a definite impact on the
youth culture. Many women in the 1960s and 1970s advocated the pursuit
of sexual desires just like men. The result: many young women left hurt
by the deception that sex won’t affect them emotionally. Another
byproduct of the sexual revolution has been earlier and earlier sex
education for young students. The recent debate has centered on
abstinence education and its effectiveness. Will young people be
deterred to engage in sexual relationships when presented with a strong
case for purity before marriage? Or, as critics argue, should we assume
all teenagers will have sex, so we should encourage them to be the most
prepared and safe? Julie Baumgardner, the Director of First Things
First, explains her reasons for why she believes abstinence education
is valuable and beneficial to the youth culture. Her words addressed to
parents seem to indicate her view that the problem of sexual
promiscuity is deeply embedded in a culture of parenting that refuses
to deal with important issues:

“Quite frankly, I would like to see more
parents become bold enough to hold their teens to the highest standard
while loving them unconditionally, no matter what the outcome. From
what young people tell me, they crave having adults in their lives who
will shoot straight about the issues.”
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