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Abstinence Programs Address Crisis in Sexual Health

Yonkers, Jan. 23 -- Speaking at a special event on the steps of Yonkers City Hall, Healthy Respect's Chief Executive Officer outlined "the crisis in sexual health" among today's teens and pointed to abstinence education "a fresh approach to sex education" that has earned both popular appeal and positive results.

John P. Margand, Esq., was a featured speaker at the Jan. 20th event in which Mayor Philip Amicone proclaimed "Respect Life Week" in Yonkers, which is New York State's fourth-largest city. Healthy Respect has been working with the city for the past four years to bring high-quality abstinence education to middle school and high school classrooms.

Mr. Margand observed that Yonkers is going through an economic and cultural "renaissance" that is raising the profile of the Westchester municipality that borders New York City. Yet, he pointed out, the renaissance will be short-lived if the next generation is not prepared to take on the challenges of the 21st century. Abstinence education provides a key to teen success in school and in life, he said.

Quality abstinence programs such as Healthy Respect, he said to the crowd gathered outside City Hall, "emphasize the principles of self-restraint, self-esteem, future goals and long-term commitment" that young people need to succeed. "In short, they provide students with the core skill set required to establish healthy relationships and strong marriages."

"Teaching abstinence to teens is reasonable, responsible and even popular among a majority of parents and teens," he said, citing an independent evaluation by social scientists who concluded that Healthy Respect succeeds in changing student attitudes and knowledge regarding abstinence and other sexual issues.

Mr. Margand concluded: "It is clearer than ever that this fresh approach to sexual health is yielding dividends for our teenagers. It is now time for a more informed discussion on how best to deal with the current crisis is teen sexual health."