Robert Rector. “The Effectiveness of Abstinence Education Programs in Reducing Sexual Activity Among Youth”. Heritage. 8 Apr. 2002 – Virginity Pledge Programs. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dr. Michael Resnick and others entitled “Protecting Adolescents From Harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health” shows that “abstinence pledge” programs are dramatically effective in reducing sexual activity among teenagers in grades 7 through 12.19 Based on a large national sample of adolescents, the study concludes that “Adolescents who reported having taken a pledge to remain a virgin were at significantly lower risk of early age of sexual debut.”20
In fact, the study found that participating in an abstinence program and taking a formal pledge of virginity were by far the most significant factors in a youth’s delaying early sexual activity. The study compared students who had taken a formal pledge of virginity with students who had not taken a pledge but were otherwise identical in terms of race, income, school performance, degree of religiousness, and other social and demographic factors. Based on this analysis, the authors discovered that the level of sexual activity among students who had taken a formal pledge of virginity was one-fourth the level of that of their counterparts who had not taken a pledge. Overall, nearly 16 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys were found to have taken a virginity pledge.