Virginity pledges do help adolescents delay sexual intercourse

September 3rd, 2008 - 5:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sept 3 (ANI): Adolescents who take virginity pledges delay having sexual intercourse longer than kids who are similar to them but do not take a pledge, a new study has found.

The researchers found that only a third of participants between 12 to 17 years, who pledged to avoid having sex until marriage proceeded to break their pledge over the next three years.

About 42 percent of adolescents who had similar values and backgrounds began having intercourse during that period.

Our data suggest that it is a good idea for teens who are inclined to delay sex to make a pledge, because they”re more likely to delay sex if they do so, said lead study author Steven Martino, a behavioural scientist at RAND in Pittsburgh.

A public statement or commitment to do or not do something makes it more likely that you will follow through on your stated intention, he added.

During the study, the researchers interviewed 1,461 adolescents in 2001 and followed up with them one year and three years later.

Martino said that the study results do not prove definitively that virginity pledges make teens less likely to have sex.

You also need a comprehensive program of sexual education for young people who are not inclined to delay sex and for virginity pledgers who eventually break their pledge, he added. (ANI)

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