Abstinence Doesn't Age Well

I occasionally joke that some of the articles passing through my EurekAlert feed ought to be published in the Journal of "Well, Duh!", but I think this one takes the cake: Teens find the benefits of not having sex decline with age:

The study, reported in the January 2008 issue of the "American Journal of Public Health," studied teens from the fall of their ninth-grade year through the spring of their tenth-grade year.

Among teens who remained sexually inexperienced during the study, the percentage reporting only positive experiences from refraining from sex fell from 46 percent to 24 percent.

Among teens who were sexually experienced at the outset of the study, the percentage reporting only positive experiences from refraining fell from 37 percent to 8 percent.

The greatest change in attitudes was among teens who became sexually experienced during the study period. For those teens, the percentage who said that not having sex resulted in only positive experiences dropped from 40 percent to 6 percent.

In other words, the longer you go without getting laid, the less attractive continued abstinence seems. This needed a study?

(OK, OK, given the large and influential community of people pushing abstinence-only sex education, the more evidence we can compile showing why and how it's a terrible idea, the better. But still, it's hard to think of a less obvious conclusion than "People who start having sex no longer see much of an upside to not having sex.")

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Reminds of a comedian who once said "Sex is a lot like breathing: you don't think you need it until you're not doing it." Or something like that.

OK, OK, given the large and influential community of people pushing abstinence-only sex education, the more evidence we can compile showing why and how it's a terrible idea, the better. But still, it's hard to think of a less obvious conclusion than "People who start having sex no longer see much of an upside to not having sex."

This is hardly what is told to students in abstinence-only programs. One of the major points is "if you have sex, you'll regret it". Totally debunked [unless you play the anecdote game, which I'm sure they will].

By natural cynic (not verified) on 09 Jan 2008 #permalink