This research study evaluates the efficacy of an abstinence-only intervention in preventing sexual involvement in young adolescents. Dr. Jemmott et al. randomly assigned 662 African American students in grades 6 and 7 to an 8-hour abstinence-only intervention, an 8-hour safer-sex-only intervention, or an 8-hour health-promotion control group.
The results showed that abstinence-only intervention reduced sexual initiation and recent sexual intercourse. None of the interventions had significant effect on consistent condom use or unprotected intercourse.
Although other studies in the past have reported intervention-induced reductions in sexual intercourse among adolescents, this is the first randomized controlled trial that demonstrates a reduction in the percentage of adolescents who reported any sexual intercourse for 24 months after intervention. The article concludes that theory-based abstinence-only interventions may have an important role in preventing adolescent sexual involvement.
Citation: The Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months (2010).