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Abstinence education is more than 'just say no'

The following op-ed piece appeared in Friday's Edition of The Journal News, which boasts a circulation of 136,000 in and around Westchester County, just north of New York City.

Abstinence education is more than 'just say no'
John P. Margand ยท January 11, 2008

Authentic abstinence education provides teens with a clear and consistent message regarding the benefits of delaying sexual activity. It is beyond dispute that abstinence from sexual activity provides 100 percent protection from the biological consequences of sex (pregnancy, abortion, teen parenthood and sexually transmitted infections) as well as the negative emotional consequences associated with teen sexual activity. Abstinence programs emphasize the principles of self-restraint, self-esteem, future goals, and long-term commitment; in short, they provide students with the core skill set required to establish healthy relationships and strong marriages.

In addition, abstinence programs provide medically accurate information about contraceptives, with unvarnished straight talk on their failure rates in the face of a proliferating number of sexually transmitted diseases, and frank discussion about the emotional consequences of premature sexual activity. Click here to view the entire editorial at The Journal News web page.