Teenagers Lie About Sex, Study Finds

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The Washington Post is reporting the results of a new study that looks for differences in rates of sexual activity between teens who have taken a virginity pledge and those who have not. The research found there were basically no differences:

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.

The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.

"Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior," said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. "But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking."

These findings could well affect upcoming votes in Congress for federal funding of abstinence-only sex education programs.

Whole Post article is here

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  1. Any reason to assume they werent also lying to the surveyors?

  2. The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a “virginity pledge,”

    “I didn’t have sex with Drake, but everyone thinks that I did. If everyone thinks I’m a whore, shouldn’t I at least whore it up?”

    “Being a virgin is a wonderful and precious thing to hold on to…as long as it doesn’t interfere with your having sex.”

  3. Is this really any different than any other bullshit pledges kids take? School honor code, say no to drugs pledges, etc.?

  4. “But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking.”

    Oh I see – so making a viginity pledge decreases the liklihood that you will use birth control and practice safe sex when you do have sex?

    Do you think Ms. Rosenbaum really thinks there’s causation there, or do you think she’s just bad with words?

  5. These findings could well affect upcoming votes in Congress for federal funding of abstinence-only sex education programs.

    I doubt it. That would mean that Congressional votes are driven by data. Those votes will defund abstinence-only because there are no longer enough Republicans to win the votes, and for no other reason.

  6. The new analysis of data from a large federal survey

    They could have come to the same conclusion, at little taxpayer expense,
    by spending half a day at MySpace.

  7. It is a scientific fact that Catholic girls are hot.

  8. These findings could well affect upcoming votes in Congress for federal funding of abstinence-only sex education programs.

    See Hope over experience, triumph of.

  9. Yet another wonderful waste of public resources on a study which allows the left to further instruct us on a PC life. Perhaps I was out to lunch when responsibility for teenage sexual behavior moved from parent to state. Then again, I should refrain from taking such long lunches as plenty of issues have seemingly taken that route.

  10. “…more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage…”

    More than half?! What does that mean? Above 60% you would probably have to use the phrase “two-thirds” rather than “more than half”. So that means that 40% or more (almost half!) of people aren’t sexually active before marriage? WHAT?! No freakin’ way. I find it impossible to believe that 40% of Americans hop into the wedding bed pure clean virgins, completely inexperienced with genitals of the opposite gender(or same gender, if they’re the adventurous type). No way.

  11. It is a scientific fact that Catholic girls are hot.

    Let’s not forget “batshit insane”.

  12. There’s a reason why those Catholic-girl uniforms are so prevalent on Japanese fetish sites.
    Or so I hear.

  13. In other words, 17-year olds might not feel terribly bound by a “contract” they were pressured to sign when they were 12.

    As well they should not.

  14. Has anyone made a Palin joke yet?

  15. Whats with the Palin double standard? Im pretty sure she wasnt the first VEEP nominee to be knocked up/knock someone up before marriage. Also, sure she wasnt the first whose kid did the same.

  16. I wonder how many guys sign up for these “virginity” pledges to get into bed with that hot girl whose also doing it? 99%? 100%?? this is important information!!

  17. “Dee: Are you actually gonna throw away all your convictions for a chance to get laid?

    Dennis: (laughing) I don’t really have any convictions.”

  18. “””significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today. “””

    Less condom and birth control use, isn’t that a victory in their eyes.

  19. The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a “virginity pledge,”

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess the “less than half” who proclaimed they were a virgin on their wedding night is more like 10% or so, with another 30% or so lying to the surveyors.

    In fact, I’d say this data is incredibly suspect, because how are they gonna check on whether anyone lied about sex, when said lying is known to happen on * rare * occasions? Or how they controlled for all the people who told the surveyors “none of your damn business”? What sort of response rate did they get to the questions? 100%? 10%? 1%?

  20. “…more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage…”

    Billy, the questionnaire probably simply asked the youths whether they had had sex before marriage. It’s a snapshot in time — and some of the kids have gotten married, some have not yet. For married youths, the question is as written; for the unmarried youths, the question effectively is “have you had sex yet?”

    The data show, something like 40% were (allegedly) still virgins as of the poll. Some of these (many/most) will lose their virginity in the coming years, before they get married.

    If the poll had ONLY interviewed married youths who had taken the pledge at age 12, I would bet you’d find a much lower % claiming they were virgins on their wedding night. That said, the %age would likely be an overestimate of the true virginity-at-marriage rate since some will inevitably lie.

    Karl

  21. JB | December 29, 2008, 10:45am | #

    Yet another wonderful waste of public resources on a study which allows the left to further instruct us on a PC life.

    As opposed to the right wasting public resources instructing us on an RC (religiously correct) life?

  22. That said, the %age would likely be an overestimate of the true virginity-at-marriage rate since some will inevitably lie.

    Overestimate or underestimate?

  23. I think it was Heinlein who observed that the more conservative a society, the earlier couples tended to marry.

  24. I knew I’d be beaten to it, but uhh, “teenagers lie about sex…except to these guys”.

    Eh well…

  25. robc
    Palin is a symbol for the evangelical (of which she is a proud member) movement which pushes stupid unrealistic strategies to combat teen pregnancy but has one of the highest rates of teen-age pregnancy demographically in the country. Palin pushed the same dumb strategy but can’t even win the fight in her own home.

    It would be like her pushing some dumbass investment strategy and then we find she is actually broke.

  26. Yet another example of inept idiots failing to control what anyone could have told them from the start they did not have the ability to control.

  27. As to the hotness of Catholic girls, I must testify that when I went to Catholic H.S. there was a normal distribution of hot/not. The mandatory plaid skirts may have made it easier to figure out who had great legs, compared to the girls at the local publik skool sporting elephant-bell blue jeans, but those attending the heathen institution were likelier to wear tight tops.

    The pervasive air of guilt did add a certain frisson to any sexual activity, or hope thereof. Then there was the birth control issue. Premarital sex was a mortal sin, but so was using contraceptives. So, giving in to an unplanned sexual impulse was bad, but preparing to prevent the ill effects of such wantonness was double+ungood.

    Kevin

  28. This is not a familiar topic. we tackled it when a religious group tried to bring ” The Ring thing” to our town. it’s this bullshit pledge where they sell silver rings with a cross and an oath to be true to your virginity. They did a follow up study on that as well.

    It showed that while girls who took the pledge were less likely to have vaginal intercourse, however they did have more oral and anal sex then those who did not take the oath, As well as having higher incidents in pregnancy and STD.

    Way to go Religious right, make your kids dumb and pregnant with herpes!

    http://www.silverringthing.com/

    check out the site. it’ll make you cringe!

  29. ahem..that should read…this is a familar topic. Sorry my edit goblin was asleep at the key board.

  30. “As opposed to the right wasting public resources instructing us on an RC (religiously correct) life?”

    Don’t really want either side spending money on teaching my children something that should be MY responsibility. Each side has a right to raise their children PC or RC.

  31. Each side has a right to raise their children PC or RC.

    true, but you only criticized one side, without really explaining how the PC indoctrination is occurring.

    I don’t see how sex ed with an explanation of the mechanics of disease transmission, biological facts on pregnancy, etc. is particularly PC. Telling kids “just don’t do or Jesus will cry” is definitely RC, though.

  32. “I don’t see how sex ed with an explanation of the mechanics of disease transmission, biological facts on pregnancy, etc. is particularly PC.”

    Described in that way its not PC. I’m more concerned with the “they’re going to do it anyway” mentality. I’d like to see the risks and pitfalls of sexual behavior explained more thoroughly alongside any other information. Combined with stressing that abstinence is the only foolproof method of avoiding these problems, we can prevent the consequences thereof; particularly important to me is preventing the economic consequences.

  33. One thing that we are forgetting is that many of these teens are considered sex offenders under US law these days. We have criminalized teen-age sex to such a degree that millions of US teens are legally qualified, if the state notices their individual case, to be put on the vastly expanded “sex offenders registry”. They will be harassed by the US govt. for the rest of their natural life because they had sex with another teen. This is already happening to tens of thousands of American teens.

    Thank the religious Right and the Republicans for the plethora of laws that expaned this ill conceived data base far beyond its original intentions. Now streakers are “sex offenders.” Two kids fumbling the back seat of Dad’s Chevy are consider guilty of mutual molestation and both register as sex offenders. A teenage boy showing Playboy to a schoolmate is now a sex offender. And the list just grows and grows as the legal consequences of being on the list grows even faster. America is becoming a sexual dictatorship. It is the revenge of the Puritans.

  34. Odd that Fox News has come to opposite conclusion form what every other news organization is reporting.

    Study: Religious Teens More Likely to Abstain from Sex
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,475306,00.html

    Yet when I look up the study I don’t find the ‘having sex three years later’ assertion.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/04/4/gr040401.pdf

    Are they making this stuff up or do they have access to information that the rest of us don’t?

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