Mathematica Policy Research – Impact of Abstinence Only Education (2007)

This report examines the behavioral impact of four selected programs that received funding through the Title V, Section 510 grants: (1) My Choice, My Future! In Powhatan, Virginia; (2) ReCapturing the Vision in Miami, Florida; (3) Families United to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (FUPTP) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and (4) Teens in Control in Clarksdale, Mississippi. This report provides results from a multi-year, experimentally-based impact study and examines the impact of these programs on teens sexual abstinence, their risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and other behavioral outcomes. The report is based on survey data collected in 2005 and early 2006 – four to six years after study enrollment – from more than 2,000 teens who had been randomly assigned to either a program group that was eligible to participate in one of the four programs or a control group that was not.

The researchers looked at two sets of outcome measures, Sexual Behavior (rates of sexual abstinence, rates of unprotected sex, number of sexual partner, etc.) and Knowledge and perceptions of Risks Associated with Teen Sexual Activity (youth perceptions of the effectiveness of condoms and birth control pills and etc.)

The impact findings show no overall impact on teen sexual activity, rates of unprotected sex and some impacts on knowledge of STDs and perceived effectiveness of condoms and birth control pills.  Approximately half of all high school youth report having had sex and one-quarter of sexually active adolescents have an STD.  The findings from this study show a continued need for rigorous research and education to combat the high rate of teen sexual activity and its consequences.

Citation: Trenholm, C., Devaney, B., Fortson, K., Quay, L., Wheeler, J., & Clark, M. (2007). Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs. Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

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  1. […] programs in the early 2000′s.  These criticisms were greatly supported by the results from a evaluative research study* mandated by the Congress and conducted by Mathematica Policy Research.  The study found no […]

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