Saturday, March 19, 2005

Virginity pledges don't work - Shocker

In spite of the "True Love Waits" program which began in 1993 and urged 12% of US teens to vow to abstain from sex until marriage, a study now finds that upwards of 3/4 of those who took this pledge had sex before marriage anyway. Their rates for sexual activity and STDs are about the same rates as those who did not pledge, and their rates of oral and anal sex are even higher than those who did not pledge. This activity is believed to be higher because these types of sex are "loopholes" in the I-won't-have-sex-till-I'm-married pledge.

I don't find any of this to be especially surprising - I could've guessed all of these things. You?

The thing I didn't like was this statement from a Detroit Free Press article on the subject:

Researchers had expected those who took a virginity pledge to have a lower incidence of sexually transmitted diseases because pledgers tend to have fewer sex partners than those who don't make the promise, lose their virginity later and marry earlier.

Oh good - just what we need - a pledge that in the end encourages people to marry earlier. That's a great idea - people going back to getting married when they're 18/19/20 again. Good plan - that'll make everything better, right?

Um, no. Let's also look at divorce rates of people getting married younger - I don't have the stats on hand but I'll bet $1 they're substantially higher than divorce rates of those marrying when they're closer to 30 than to 20.


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