Virginity pledge statistics
As many as one in eight teens in the United States may take a virginity pledge at some point, vowing to wait until they're married before having sex. But do such pledges work? Are pledge takers more likely than other teens to delay sexual activity? A new study looked at the sexual behavior of hundreds of young people, some of whom took virginity pledges. A new study suggests that the answer is no. While teens who take virginity pledges do delay sexual activity until an average age of 21 compared to about age 17 for the average American teen , the reason for the delay is more likely due to pledge takers' religious background and conservative views -- not the pledge itself.
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Teen birth and pregnancy rates have been in a free fall, and there are a few commonly held explanations why. One is that more teens are using the morning-after pill and long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs. The economy might have played a role, since the decline in teen births accelerated during the recession. As of , about one in eight teens, or 12 percent, pledged to be sexually abstinent until marriage.
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Virginity pledges have received a lot of attention over the years. There has been controversy, though, about whether or not they are effective in delaying teen sex. Two studies published within the last two years have yielded different results. In contrast, a study headed up by Steve Martino, a Ph.
This method allowed Rosenbaum to compare those who had taken a virginity pledge with similar teens who hadn't taken a pledge but were likely to delay having sex, she said. She added that she didn't include teens who were unlikely to take a pledge. For the study, Rosenbaum collected data on high school students who had never had sex or had taken a virginity pledge. Rosenbaum matched students who had taken a virginity pledge with those who hadn't.