Research-Based Realities

June 11 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

America is in love with research.  Numbers grab our attention, statistics drive our decisions.

We collect numbers on everything.  We know from watching him that Magic Johnson is…well…magic on the basketball court.  But we are sure of it if we can chart his free-throw average.  We believe that Elvis was a music legend.  But we are convinced of it when someone lists his top ten hits and reports the sales revenue generated by his empire.

Fueled by computer technology, researchers have relegated nearly every subject today to binary code and statistical analysis.  Not surprisingly, our beliefs about sex, our sexual behavior, and the consequences of both, have been counted, input into computers, and crunched into numbers that have been sorted, scrutinized, analyzed, reported and debated.

Statistics on sex confirm what the ordinary person knows.  Teen sex is a problem.  We see the problem in our daily lives, but numbers and statistics define the problem.

Numbers and statistics also drive the work to cure the problems resulting from teen sex.  Give us a cure, we are told.  But make sure it is research-based.

This demand for research-based education is great news for abstinence educators.  Research gathered over the past forty years supports the truths taught in abstinence classes around our country.  Consider what research has proven:

  • STDs infect people even when condoms are used consistently and correctly.  Of the 25 common STDs today, several viruses and bacterium live on body areas not covered by a condom, including incurable genital herpes.  This helps to explain why one in six people over the age of 12 are infected with genital herpes.
  • Boys and girls are different.  For some unknown reason, of late, that has been in doubt.  But now we have research that confirms the different attitudes men and women have about sex, love and attachment.  We are different.  Truly.
  • Most men and women have personally experienced the power of sex to create a special bond.  But now we have research and science to explain why.  Oxytocin, released in the blood system during sex, creates an attachment between the lovers…whether or not true love exists.
  • Romantic breakups are hard enough for teens, but the emotional consequences of sex for our youth can be devastating.  We have always known that.  But now research has documented the link between teen sex and teen suicide rates.
  • If oxytocin, emotional stability, and freedom from STDs are not enough to justify abstaining from sex until marriage, we have even more research to motivate us.  A wide range of studies prove that married people are having the most sex and the best sex.  And marriage statistically provides the best outcomes for men, women and children…emotionally, physically and economically.
  • Parents have always felt that teens needed direction.  Research now confirms this.  Studies of brain development show that mature, analytical thought processes aren’t developed until the early to mid-twenties for most youth.  Teens need concrete and direction instruction from adults.
  • Research reported by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy tells us “There is some evidence to suggest that one of the reasons behind these trends is that more teens are taking a cautious attitude toward sex.”  Teens are ready to hear constructive education and receive support in maintaining sexual abstinence.

Abstinence education gives young people the truth about the consequences of teen sex…emotional, physical, social, and financial consequences documented by scientific research.

Research documents that young people are receptive to this information and are using it to choose to abstain from sex outside of marriage.  Best of all, even sexually active teens are choosing to return to sexual abstinence as the best path to health and well-being.

Finally, research proves that parents are the most significant factor in teen choices about sex and that parents support sexual abstinence as the best choice for their teens.  Abstinence education is a foundation of support for parents, providing the scientific and medically accurate facts confirming the wisdom abstinence until marriage.

Research-based education?  Abstinence education leads the way in providing the best message for securing the healthiest outcomes for our youth.  And research proves it.