There Is a Right Way to Talk to Teens on Sex Issue

An abstinence-only program without a moralistic tone can delay teenagers from having sex, researchers say.

The study, in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, differed from traditional programs that have lost federal and state support in recent years. The classes did not preach saving sex until marriage or disparage condom use. Instead, they involved assignments aimed at helping sixth and seventh graders see the drawbacks to sexual activity at their age.

Sexual abstinence is the practice of refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity Common reasons for practicing sexual abstinence include: religious or philosophical reasons; material reasons (to prevent conception - undesired pregnancy - or sexually transmitted disease transmission); psycho-sociological reasons (e.g., clinical depression, social anxiety disorder, increasing testosterone in males, or negative past experiences); or, legal injunctions requiring conformity; circumstantial reasons such as incarceration or geographical isolation; to focus on other matters - sublimation inability to find a suitable sexual partner - involuntary celibacy; poor health - medical celibacy.

The New York Times has contributed to the report.

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