4212.0 Abstinence in Teen Sexuality Education

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 12:30 PM
Research has shown little impact of abstinence education on teen sexual risk behaviors. However, limited data exists on how abstinence is viewed by providers serving teens and whether they have integrated the concept into their counseling services. The first panelist will discuss the results of in-depth interviews with physicians and nurse practioners who work with teens in six US regions. The second panelist will present state requirements for scientific and medical accuracy in sexuality education. While seemingly uncontroversial, these requirements appear to be responding to the increasing injection of ideology into sexuality education. The third panelist describes how the proliferation and political success of abstinence programs can be credited to a measure included in the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, commonly known as “welfare reform”. Many states have taken the unusual step of turning down the federal funds associated with this policy. The study will discuss political, economic and social factors that may influence state refusal to participate. The final presentation looks at abstinence programs and virginity pledges amongst teens. Results of a study comparing the sexual activity of virginity pledgers with non- pledgers will be presented.
Session Objectives: 1) Articulate what health care providers mean by the term “abstinence plus” 2) List the definition of medical accuracy and the importance of these in sexuality education 3) Describe the structure of federal funding for abstinence-only education in the United States 4) Describe the differences in the sexual behavior, STD prevalence, and birth control use, between virginity pledgers and similar non-pledgers.
Erica L. Fishman, MSW MPH

12:30 PM
Abstinence and Teens: Prevention counseling practices of health care providers in the United States
Cynthia C. Harper, PhD, Jillian T. Henderson, PhD, MPH, Laura Stratton, MPS, Amy Schalet, PhD and Tina Raine, MD, MPH
1:10 PM
Saying No to Abstinence-Only Funds: An Analysis of State Decisions
Deborah R. McFarlane, DrPH, MPA, Alesha E. Doan, PhD and Sunny Bergh, BA

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Population, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health
Endorsed by: Maternal and Child Health, Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Socialist Caucus, School Health Education and Services

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing