From the New York Times yesterday…
Colorado Springs – In their floor-length gowns, up-dos and tiaras, the 70 or so young women swept past two harpists and into a gilt-and-brocade dining room at the lavish Broadmoor Hotel, on the arms of their much older male companions.
The girls, ages early grade school to college, had come with their fathers, stepfathers and future fathers-in-law last Friday night to the ninth annual Father-Daughter Purity Ball….
The evening, which alternated between homemade Christian rituals and giddy dancing, was a joyous public affirmation of the girls’ sexual abstinence until they wed….
For… [a] growing number of people who have come to their balls, premarital sex is seen as inevitably destructive, especially to girls, who they say suffer more because they are more emotional than boys. Fathers, they say, play a crucial role in helping them stay pure….
No one knows for certain how many purity balls are held nationwide, because they are grass-roots efforts. The Abstinence Clearinghouse, an advocacy group, says it sells hundreds of purity ball kits annually to interested groups all over the country and abroad….
If most teenage girls would not be caught dead dancing with their dads, the girls at the ball twirled for hours with their game but stiff fathers. Every half-hour, Mr. Wilson stopped the dancing so that fathers could bless their daughters before everyone.
The dancing continued past the ball’s official end at midnight. Mr. Wilson had to tell people to go home. The fathers took their flushed and sometimes sleepy girls toward the exit. But one father took his two young daughters for a walk around the hotel’s dark, glassy lake.
Recent studies have suggested that close relationships between fathers and daughters can reduce the risk of early sexual activity among girls and teenage pregnancy. But studies have also shown that most teenagers who say they will remain abstinent, like those at the ball, end up having sex before marriage, and they are far less likely to use condoms than their peers.
The NYT should name its negative studies. Likely they are coming from organizations with a pro-sex agenda. Last month the Heritage Foundation evaluated 21 studies, many peer reviewed:
16 of the 21 studies reported statistically significant positive results, such as delayed sexual initiation and reduced levels of early sexual activity, among youths who have received abstinence education.
I’ve listed the studies below. The NYT presented abstinence in a positive light only to try to pull the rug out.
Studies Reporting Significant Results
1. Stan Weed, Irene H. Ericksen, Allen Lewis, Gale E. Grant, and Kathy H. Wibberly, “An Abstinence Program’s Impact on Cognitive Mediators and Sexual Initiation,” American Journal of Health Behavior, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2008), pp. 60-73.
2. George Denny and Michael Young, “An Evaluation of an Abstinence-Only Sex Education Curriculum: An 18-Month Follow-Up,” Journal of School Health, Vol. 76, No. 8 (October 2006), pp. 414-422.
3. Stan E. Weed, Irene H. Ericksen, and Paul James Birch, “An Evaluation of the Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education Program,” Institute for Research and Evaluation (Salt Lake City), November 2005, at www.heritageservices.org/Stan%20Weed’s%20HHS%20Conference%20article.pdf (December 1, 2006).
4. Elaine A. Borawski, Erika S. Trapl, Loren D. Lovegreen, Natalie Colabianchi, and Tonya Block, “Effectiveness of Abstinence-Only Intervention on Middle School Teens,” American Journal of Health Behavior, Vol. 29, No. 5 (September/October 2005), pp. 423-434.
5. Robert Lerner, “Can Abstinence Work? An Analysis of the Best Friends Program,” Adolescent & Family Health, Vol. 3, No. 4 (April 2005), pp. 185-192.
6. Andrew Doniger, John S. Riley, Cheryl A. Utter, and Edgar Adams, “Impact Evaluation of the ‘Not Me, Not Now’ Abstinence-Oriented, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Communications Program, Monroe County, N.Y.,” Journal of Health Communication, Vol. 6, No. 1 (January-March 2001), pp. 45-60.
7. Stan E. Weed, “Title V Abstinence Education Programs: Phase I Interim Evaluation Report to Arkansas Department of Health, Institute for Research and Evaluation,” October 15, 2001.
8. John B. Jemmott III, Loretta Sweet Jemmott, and Geoffrey T. Fong, “Abstinence and Safer Sex HIV Risk-Reduction Interventions for African American Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” JAMA, Vol. 279, No. 19 (May 20, 1998), pp. 1529-1536.
9. Tena L. St. Pierre, Melvin M. Mark, D. Lynne Kaltreider, and Kathryn J. Aikin, “A 27-Month Evaluation of a Sexual Activity Prevention Program in Boys & Girls Clubs Across the Nation,” Family Relations, Vol. 44, No. 1 (January 1995), pp. 69-77.
10. Stephen R. Jorgensen, Vicki Potts, and Brian Camp, “Project Taking Charge: Six-Month Follow-Up of a Pregnancy Prevention Program for Early Adolescents,” Family Relations, Vol. 42, No. 4 (October 1993), pp. 401-406.
11. Stan E. Weed et al., “Predicting and Changing Teen Sexual Activity Rates: A Comparison of Three Title XX Programs,” report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs, December 1992.
12. Michael Resnick et al., “Protecting Adolescents from Harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health,” JAMA, Vol. 278, No. 10 (September 10, 1997), pp. 823-832.
13. Peter S. Bearman and Hanna Brückner, “Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 106, No. 4 (January 2001), pp. 852-912.
14. Robert E. Rector, Kirk A. Johnson, and Jennifer A. Marshall, “Teens Who Make Virginity Pledges Have Substantially Improved Life Outcomes,” Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis Report No. CDA04-07, September 21, 2004, at www.heritage.org/Research/Abstinence/cda04-07.cfm.
15. Robert Rector and Kirk A. Johnson, “Adolescent Virginity Pledges, Condom Use, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Young Adults,” paper presented at the Eighth Annual National Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, June 14, 2005, at www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/upload/79366_1.pdf.
16. Robert Rector and Kirk A. Johnson, “Adolescent Virginity Pledges and Risky Sexual Behaviors,” paper presented at the Eighth Annual National Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, June 14, 2005, at www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/upload/79314_1.pdf.