Teaching Teens About Abstinence


A NIMH-funded research carried out in the year 2010 indicated that teenagers who received intervention focused on abstinence were less likely to engage in sexual intercourse at an early age. This was not the case in teens who only received a general intervention focusing on health. Here are some of the statistics gathered from the research on how teaching teens about abstinence can help delay sexual activities.


Sexually active teens are at a high risk of getting unplanned pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The rate of those experiencing the negative outcomes of sex is higher in African Americans than it is in their peers. Studies show that an intervention focusing on behavior reduces the risk of HIV and STI. However, according to policymakers, it is not yet clear which type of intervention is most effective. Most states use programs that only focus on abstinence. However, most abstinence-only programs have been deemed ineffective for their lack of proper research, moralistic approach, and negative portrayal of sex.

Here are some of the most common programs used in schools in most states in America.


This program focuses more on educating teens on the benefits of abstinence. Teens are taught about STIs and unplanned pregnancies and how abstinence can help them attain their goals for the future. Teens are also taught skills on how to resist temptation and pressure to have sex.

Safer Sex

This program focuses more on teaching teens how to protect themselves during sex. Teens are encouraged to use condoms whenever they engage in sexual intercourse.

12 hr Comprehensive

This programs is a combination of both abstinence intervention and safer sex. Teens are encourage to use protection, but only if they are not able to abstain.


Studies on the all available intervention programs regarding sex show that abstinence-only programs work well in discouraging sex among teens. However, the same research shows that the results collected cannot be used to generalize other programs. This is because different programs work for different crowds in different parts of the world.

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