Virginity Pledge

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on the Virginity Pledge.

Virginity Pledges
Virginity Pledges - 2
Virginity Pledges Can't Be Taken on Faith
Teen Pregnancies Highest In States With Abstinence-Only Policies
Many Teens Don't Keep Virginity Pledges
Teens Don't Keep Virginity Pledges
Is Signing an Abstinence Pledge a Guarantee of no STDs?
Chastity Pledge does not reduce STD rate
A woman's purity certificate went viral. Time to talk about that whole 'virginity' thing.
Purity Test
The Virginity Hit - The Movie

 


Virginity is okay. Being sexual is okay, too. Be sure the first time is the right time.

Virginity Pledges


One finding from the Add Health survey immediately seized upon by the popular press is that some students who took a virginity pledge promising to abstain from sex until marriage were less likely than students who did not take a pledge to become sexually active. According to a study published this year in the American Journal of Sociology, the pledge was found to delay intercourse by an average of 18 months. However, the pledge had some significant limitations—it worked best among 15-17-year-olds, with no effect among older teenagers, and had an impact only within certain ethnic groups.

In addition, virginity pledges were found to work only in those school contexts in which the pledge essentially constitutes minority group behavior. In fact, as the proportion of students who pledge rises, the effectiveness of pledging decreases. In other words, students are attracted to virginity pledges precisely because they offer them a shared group identity that sets them apart from their peers—a counterculture of sorts—that loses its allure once it becomes normative. Say authors Peter S. Bearman and Hannah Bruckner, "if most adolescents were to pledge, there would be no pledge effect." As a result, virginity pledges "cannot work as a universal strategy" and "policy makers should recognize that the pledge works because not everyone is pledging." Michael D. Resnick, also of the Center for Adolescent Health and Development at the University of Minnesota and a lead Add Health researcher, reiterates that "while the effect of virginity pledges is real, virginity pledges are not an immunization which work in every context. Policymakers would be wrong to think that virginity pledges will have a magical effect on kids' behaviors. Pledges work only for those young people who identify with this norm. If you make it mandatory, kids will fight it."

Virginity pledges also have an unintended effect that should be of concern to researchers and policymakers alike: They actually place some teenagers at higher risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD), because teens who break their pledge are one-third less likely than non-pledgers to use contraceptives once they do become sexually active. Write authors Bearman and Bruckner, "pledgers are less likely to be prepared for an experience they have promised to forego." So before policymakers rush to embrace virginity pledges as the answer to teenage sexual activity, they should heed Bearman and Bruckner's suggestion "that pledgers, like other adolescents, may benefit from knowledge about contraception and pregnancy risk, even if it appears at the time that they do not need such knowledge."

Researchers emphasize that discussions about birth control do not cause teens to have sex.

At least two studies using Add Health data explore how discussions about sex and contraception between mothers and teenage children—as well as teens' perceptions of these discussions—may influence adolescent sexual behavior. One of these studies, published last year in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that teenagers in grades 8-11 who perceive that their mother disapproves of their engaging in sexual intercourse are more likely than their peers to delay sexual activity. And perhaps not surprisingly, teenagers who are more connected to their mothers are more likely to accurately perceive maternal disapproval of sex. But when mothers recommend specific methods of birth control, teens are less likely to perceive strong maternal disapproval of sex. Researchers working in this area emphasize that discussions about birth control do not cause teens to have sex, but may instead be temporally related to the onset of sexual activity. "What we suspect," explains author Clea S. McNeely, from the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health at the University of Minnesota "is that mothers increase their discussions about birth control and sexual activity when they sense that their teenagers are sexually active or about to become sexually active."

Another study published last year in the American Journal of Public Health explored the equally complex area of perceived maternal approval of contraception. Teenagers in grades 7-11 who perceived that their mother disapproved of contraception were more likely to delay sexual activity. But these teens were also less likely to use contraception when they did become sexually active. This latter finding is particularly crucial, notes Resnick, because one factor that most closely predicts whether or not a teen has experienced a pregnancy is whether or not that teen used contraception the first and last times he or she had sexual intercourse. And, of course, unprotected sex increases a teen's risk of contracting an STD.
Source: By Cynthia Dailard, www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/04/4/gr040401.html

Virginity Pledges - 2


Surprise, most teens do not keep virginity pledges! According to another recent article in the Washington Post, teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens who don't make such promises, but they are less likely to use condoms and birth control to prevent sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy.

The latest research to document this phenomenon was published in the January 2009 issue of Pediatrics and reflected results from 934 high school students. Dr. Janet Rosenbaum, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health matched students who had taken a virginity pledge with those who had not and after five years found no difference between the groups on how many had participated in oral, anal, or vaginal sex before marriage. The groups had the same average number of sex partners and had started having sex at the same age.

So, when will abstinence-only education be dismantled? How many of these articles have to be published before schools, parents and politicians agree that teens should be encouraged to delay sexual activity but also need to be well-educated about the importance of preventing sexually transmitted infection and early pregnancy?
Source: www.healthline.com/health-blogs/teen-health-411/virginity-pledges

Virginity Pledges Can't Be Taken on Faith


Many abstinence programs have embraced the concept of virginity pledges, encouraging children as young as 9 to promise to wait until marriage to have sex.

So how reliable are reports of sexual activity by teenagers who took such a pledge?

Not very, according to a study by Harvard doctoral candidate Janet Rosenbaum published in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Rosenbaum found that 53 percent of adolescents in a large, federally funded study who said they made a virginity pledge denied doing so a year later, often after they had become sexually active.

At the same time, 10 percent of teenagers who said they had had intercourse and then made a pledge or became born-again Christians subsequently said they were virgins.

Rosenbaum's study is based on an analysis of 1995 and 1996 data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which involved more than 13,000 teenagers in grades 7 to 12. At the time virginity pledge programs, many of them sponsored by evangelical Christian groups, were proliferating as a way to combat teenage sex, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and perceived moral decay.

Rosenbaum said her study shows that efforts to evaluate such programs' effectiveness is complicated by teenagers' reports of behavior that may be influenced by religious or social factors. "Whatever environment you're in, you're more likely to conform," Rosenbaum said.

Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, agreed. "This study confirms that when people are asked about sensitive behavior, you have to take their answers with a grain of salt."

"What's interesting is that it showed changes over time and tried to tease out what might lead to those changes," she added.

Previous studies have found that teenagers who make pledges contract STDs at nearly the same rate as those who don't, but that they have fewer sexual partners, are less likely to use condoms and more likely to engage in anal or oral sex.

Leslee Uhruh, president of the nonprofit National Abstinence Clearinghouse in Sioux Falls, S.D., called Rosenbaum's study "junk science."

"These programs work," said Unruh, calling the study a "politically motivated attack" on pledge programs. "We see it all the time. I don't trust this data," she said, noting that the information that Rosenbaum used was collected 10 years ago. "Things have changed."

Denny Pattyn, founder of Silver Ring Thing, an evangelical Christian program that has received federal funding, said that about 60,000 youths have made virginity pledges after attending a three-hour sound and light show sponsored by his Pittsburgh-based group. Participants spend $15 for a silver ring inscribed with a Biblical verse -- a virginity symbol to be removed on the wearer's wedding day and given to his or her spouse.

"We teach abstinence because it's the truth," said Pattyn. "We don't analyze ourselves based on reducing the risk."

Pattyn said that his program assesses its effectiveness in part by sending e-mails to participants for four months after they take a pledge to ask if they are abstinent.

The group is about to launch a study of its long-term effectiveness, according to researcher Paul Kennedy. Kennedy said an online survey he conducted in March involving 2,500 youths who attended Silver Ring Thing found that 97 percent of attendees reported having an improved understanding of the benefits of abstinence and an awareness that oral sex does not eliminate the risk of contracting an STD.

Like other pledge programs, Silver Ring Thing leaders endorse the concept of "secondary virginity," which means that a teenager who is not a virgin can start fresh by taking an abstinence pledge. That notion, Rosenbaum suggested, might cause some teens to discount previous intercourse as experimentation not worth reporting to researchers, thereby complicating accurate evaluation of pledge programs.

To Columbia University sociology professor Peter S. Bearman, who has published several studies on the effectiveness of virginity pledges, Rosenbaum's findings are not surprising.

"Study after study that's peer-reviewed has showed that these programs make no appreciable impact on public health, and increase dangerous behavior" because pledge-takers are more likely to engage in unprotected sex, Bearman said. "Pledging leads to a form of promise-breaking that's riskier." ·
Source: Sandra G. Boodman, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/15/AR2006051500842.html

Many Teens Don't Keep Virginity Pledges


Surprise, most teens do not keep virginity pledges! According to another recent article in the Washington Post , teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teen who don't make such promises, but they are less likely to use condoms and birth control to prevent sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy. i.e. Bristol Palin.

The latest research to document this phenomenon was published in the January 2009 issue of Pediatrics and reflected results from 934 high school students. Dr. Janet Rosenbaum, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health matched students who had taken a virginity pledge with those who had not and after five years found no difference between the groups on how many had participated in oral, anal, or vaginal sex before marriage. The groups had the same average number of sex partners and had started having sex at the same age.

So, when will abstinence-only education be dismantled? How many of these articles have to be published before schools, parents and politicians agree that teens should be encouraged to delay sexual activity but also need to be well-educated about the importance of preventing sexually transmitted infection and early pregnancy?
Source: www.healthline.com/blogs/teen_health/2009/01/virginity-pledges.html

Teens Don't Keep Virginity Pledges


According to a study released March 9, 2004 at the National STD Prevention Conference, 88% of 12,000 teenagers who had pledged to remain abstinent until marriage reported having had sexual intercourse before they married. "Pledgers" also had STD infection rates comparable to their peers who did not take virginity pledges. Although they delayed intercourse for up to 18 months, when they became sexually active, teenagers who had signed pledges were less likely to use condoms and less likely to seek medical help for STD infections than their peers.

Click here for the latest teenage pregnancy statistics www.guttmacher.org/pubs/state_pregnancy_trends.pdf

Click here for new data on the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among American youth www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2004/02/24/index.html

For the latest research and analysis on sex education in the U.S., www.guttmacher.org/presentations/sex_ed.pdf

For more information on federal funding for sex education in the U.S. www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/gr050101.html

For more information on abstinence as a contraceptive and STD prevention method www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/gr060504.html

Is Signing an Abstinence Pledge a Guarantee of no STDs?


This is a tricky question. Statistics show that those who sign a pledge actually have a higher STD rate than those who don't. The problem arises in two areas.

1. Too often individuals who sign the pledge have the best intentions so they don't learn any more about safe sex.

2. Many of these people break the pledge in the heat of the moment and are unknowledgable or unprepared to protect themselves and acquire an STD in many of these circumstances.

We support those who choose to sign a pledge of abstinence. We don't support programs, however, that want to keep them in the dark about sex, safe sex, and sexually transmitted diseases. The odds just aren't that good.

Teen Pregnancies Highest In States With Abstinence-Only Policies


The number of teen births in the U.S. dropped again in 2010, according to a government report, with nearly every state seeing a decrease. Nationally, the rate fell 9 percent to about 34 per 1,000 girls ages 15 through 19, and the drop was seen among all racial and ethnic groups. Mississippi continues to have the highest teen birth rate, with 55 births per 1,000 girls. New Hampshire has the lowest rate at just under 16 births per 1,000 girls.

This is the lowest national rate for teen births since the Centers for Disease Control began tracking it in 1940, and CDC officials attributed the decline to pregnancy prevention efforts. Other reports show that teenagers are having less sex and using contraception more often. Studies have backed this up. Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teenagers who received some type of comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. And in 2007, a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had “no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence.”

But 37 states require sex education that includes abstinence, 26 of which require that abstinence be stressed as the best method. Additionally, research shows that abstinence-only strategies could deter contraceptive use among teenagers, thus increasing their risk of unintended pregnancy.

For example, take the states with the highest and lowest teen pregnancy rates. Mississippi does not require sex education in schools, but when it is taught, abstinence-only education is the state standard. New Mexico, which has the second highest teen birth rate, does not require sex ed and has no requirements on what should be included when it is taught. New Hampshire, on the other hand, requires comprehensive sex education in schools that includes abstinence and information about condoms and contraception.
Source: thinkprogress.org/health/2012/04/10/461402/teen-pregnancy-sex-education/

Chastity Pledge does not reduce STD rate


Teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage catch sexually transmitted diseases about as often as those who don't vow abstinence, find a study that examined the sex lives of 12,000 adolescents. Those who make the public pledge to abstain until marriage delay sex, have fewer sex partners and get married earlier, according to the data, gathered from teens ages 12 to 18 who were questioned again six years later. But the two groups' STD rates were statistically similar. One of the problems, researchers find, is that virginity "pledgers" are less likely to use condoms. "It's difficult to simultaneously prepare for sex and say you're not to have sex," says sociologist Peter Bearman of Columbia University, co-author of the study. "The message is really simple: 'Just say no' may work in the short term but doesn't work in the long term." The study was presented at the National STD Prevention Conference in Philadelphia.
Source: U.S. Today, 3/10/04.

A woman's purity certificate went viral. Time to talk about that whole 'virginity' thing.


Are you a virgin?

Sure, the question might seem simple at first glance...

Nope. Not so fast.

When we dig into what "virginity" really means, it gets a little more complicated.

Just like this photo that went viral. Check it out: Just a young woman in a wedding dress beaming as she stands next to her father on her big day.

Nope. Not so fast. Take a closer look...

They're both holding a "Certificate of Purity" from her doctor.

Now, I'm not here to knock the fact that Brelyn Bowman had a goal that was important to her that she achieved. But there is something messed up about the, um, measurement of that goal.

Here's the thing: It's impossible to "prove" someone is a virgin using a hymen test.

The basis for Bowman's test was whether her hymen — a membrane in the vaginal canal — was still intact. While the test worked for her, it has long been debunked as a useful tool to determine whether someone has engaged in sex.

There are two big issues here: First, not all hymens are created equal. Some people are born with hymens that are not intact. And, second, even if someone is born with it intact, the hymen can tear due to a variety of nonsexual activities, like horseback riding or gymnastics.

Quick! Someone tell her to get off that horse or it'll render all obsolete virginity tests useless!

OK, so if the hymen test doesn't work. What does?

Wait! Back that horse up because we're putting it before the cart.

There's no set definition for virginity. People commonly say that a virgin is someone who has never had sex. But what counts as sex?

Does oral sex count? Anal intercourse? Conventionally, people have tended to believe that only penis-in-vagina intercourse counts. But then ... are gay people always virgins? What about people who engage in other sexual contact?

I wouldn't blame you if you're scratching your head right now because it all seems pretty complicated and confusing.

It's hard to parse it all because virginity isn't a biological state. It's a social construct.

Think about it: The valuation of virginity is only targeted toward women.

There's no test for people without vaginas.

That's because virginity and sexual purity emerged way back in ye olden times as a way to control women's behavior. And we see that in all the sexual double standards we have between men and women.

In spite of the fact that virginity can't be proven, it's still used as a way to measure a woman's so-called "purity."

Look at the phenomenon of purity balls: A girl's "sanctity" is promised to a male protector (father) until it's (presumably) handed off to a male spouse. (The possibility that the young woman won't be with a man or ever get married? IMPOSSIBLE.)

There's nothing wrong with choosing to wait to have sex. But let's make sure we provide young people with fact-based information to help them make that decision.

Providing comprehensive sex education, which would explain that a hymen test isn't an accurate test of virginity, could be a great start. Comparing people who have multiple sexual partners to chewed gum doesn't provide the proper foundation to make a fully informed decision.

A Harvard study revealed that abstinence-only education does not make a student less likely to engage in premarital sex. They're just as likely to have it, but less likely to use contraception the first time. You know what actually helps students delay sex (and use contraception to boot)? Comprehensive sex ed education.

Behold, the power of accurate knowledge!

The whole notion that a woman's "purity" — and thus her value — is tied to whether she has had sex or not is just plain wrong.

As Jessica Valenti, author of "The Purity Myth," says:

The purity myth is the lie that women's sexuality has some bearing on who we are and how good we are. Because, really, I think that we all know that young women are so much more than whether or not they have sex.

We really should be teaching our daughters that our ability to be good people is based on their intelligence, their compassion, their kindness — not what they do with their bodies.

I'm not judging Bowman for her decision.

Instead, I'm aiming my judgment at a society that perpetuates misinformation about sex and our bodies.
Source: www.upworthy.com/a-womans-purity-certificate-went-viral-time-to-talk-about-that-whole-virginity-thing?c=upw1&u=07fa0e7f2d23f338b4a3b29d16b2a71a4c4e496b

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Many people are offended by the truth.

 



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