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How effective are Abstinence Programs - Essay Example

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Douglas County, like many other counties in Georgia, is experiencing a steady increase in teen pregnancies and teens engaging in premarital sexual activities. According to The Georgia Vital statistics report, in 2002, the population of females between the ages of 14-17 in Douglas County was approximately 7,346…
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How effective are Abstinence Programs
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Download file to see previous pages Teenagers received 336 of those tests. Increases of 273 additional tests were given to teens 14-17 in 2003 than the previous year.
This paper will serve to investigate if it is plausible that a countywide holistic abstinence education program, which collaborates with other agencies in the county to offer alternative activities as well as abstinence education, would have helped to reduce the pregnancy rate among teenaged girls in the county during that period.
The purpose of this study is to determine if the lack of an abstinence program in Douglas County Georgia, accounted for the increase in pregnancy rate among teenaged girls between 14-17 years of age during 2002 and 2003.
The safe sex approach, which advocates contraceptive use, has led teenagers to believe that using contraceptives makes engaging in sexual intercourse a safe behavior ("Sexual Health Update," 2000). Medical evidence indicates that abstinence is the only reliable choice for avoiding pregnancy. In an article that compared the effectiveness of school-based health clinics that distributed birth control and schools that have abstinence programs, evidence showed that abstinence programs were the most effective technique for preventing adolescent sexual activity and pregnancies (Khouzem, 2003). Khouzem cited one study, in particular, that was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and conducted by the Institute for Research and Evaluation. The study included almost 7,000 teenagers in grades 7 through 10 who were taught a values-based curriculum. Three Title XX programs were implemented in three school districts and later evaluated. These three curricula, Teen-Aid, Sex Respect, and Values and Choices, were written to follow the legislative parameters of abstinence as the preventative measure for teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Pre- and posttest data were collected. Participants in each of the programs were administered two scales: the Affirmation of Abstinence and the Rejection of Permissiveness scales. On the Affirmation of Abstinence scale for both junior and senior high students, each of these programs produced a change that was statistically significant at the .000 level for Sex Respect and Teen-Aid and at the .002 level for Values and Choices. Researchers found significant differences for the Values and Choices curriculum and for the Sex Respect and Teen-Aid curricula in positively affecting students' choices regarding abstinence (Khouzem, 2003; DeGaston, Olsen, Prigmore, & Weed, 2001).
The Teen-Aid abstinence education curriculum has been used in Edinburg, Washington, for 5 years. Each year, a report is published concerning the effectiveness of this curriculum in reducing "risky behavior and attitudes." This program had a statistically significant impact (p = .000) on the likelihood that participants would not have sexual intercourse before marriage and that the non-virgin teenage participants would cease their sexual activity (p = .001). There was also a statistically significant change (p = .019) in the teenagers' views that waiting until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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