Engaging A Lost Culture

11/9/04 1:39 PM
Sexually Transmitted Infections Soar In London
Notice the dating ad on the right with a beautiful woman wearing a revealing outfit. The online dating services use promiscuity to attract members, then officials wonder why STIs increase.

3/11/04 12:19 AM
The following article is very interesting. It's probably illegal in one way or another to copy it here, so here's the original URL (which won't work in 2 days, no doubt).

Teens Pledging Sex Abstinence Often Fail-Study
By Jon Hurdle

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - U.S. adolescents who pledge not to have sex until they are married have about the same rate of sexually transmitted diseases as other teenagers and they often fail to keep their pledge, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study of a nationally representative sample of about 15,000 youths aged 12 to 18 found that 88 percent of teenagers who pledged to remain virgins until they are married ended up having sex before marriage.

The study, funded largely by the National Institutes of Health, found that these teenagers were also less likely to use condoms when they did have sex because they had not paid attention to sex education.

Because of their ignorance about sexually transmitted diseases, "pledgers" were also less likely to seek medical help if they contracted one of the diseases, according to the study unveiled at a Philadelphia conference on sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs.

Dr. Peter Bearman of Columbia University in New York, who headed the study, said the pledge movement failed to recognize the realities of adolescent sexuality. "Ideological programs designed to make serious interventions in public health programs tend not to work," he said.

Adolescents who pledged abstinence were much less likely than others to use contraceptives the first time they had sex. Consequently, their risk of getting STDs and becoming pregnant was as high as non-pledgers, the study found.

Only 40 percent of male pledgers had used a condom in the past year compared with 59 percent of those who did not promise to avoid sex. Among females, the gap was 47 percent to 55 percent.

The study found that pledging did succeed in delaying sex, reducing the number of partners and led to earlier marriages but it did not reduce the rate of sexually transmitted diseases.

"These movements that are ignorant of social science research defeat the purpose they set out to solve," Bearman said.