Perhaps not if you consider the findings of a new study which reveals that those who take the virginity pledge are not only just as likely to engage in premarital sex as the average teen, but are also significantly less likely to use condoms or other forms of protection. As reporter Rob Stein noted in the December 29, 2008 issue of the Washington Post:
[A]ccording to a study released today.... [t]he 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.What does this say about the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education programs? The blog Perrspectives goes into great detail citing studies and statistics that indicate they simply don't work. In conclusion, founder/editor Jon Perr observes:
"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."
[The] findings from Johns Hopkins can't be good news for all those fathers who took their hopefully chaste daughters to so-called "purity balls." As the numbers suggest, these elaborate rituals and solemn pledges ultimately will fail father and daughter alike.Related article: Teen Births Are On the Rise After Years of Decline