1. Jemmott Study of Inner City Youth
Study: Jemmott, J. B., Jemmott L. S.,Fong G. T. (2010). Efficacy of a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 months. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(2):152-159.
Statistically Significant Results: Only the abstinence intervention significantly reduced sexual initiation, when compared with the control group (32.6% that had received the abstinence intervention initiated sex vs. 51.8% that received “safer sex” and 41.8% that received “comprehensive” sex education.) 46.6% of the control group initiated sex. Neither the “safe sex” nor the two “comprehensive” sex education interventions significantly increased condom use. The abstinence intervention did not negatively impact condom use among those participants who became sexually active.
The author cites the value of a single focused abstinence approach for encouraging sexual delay, as opposed to a mixed “comprehensive” message. (AP article 2/2/10: “Jemmott said the single focus may have been better at encouraging abstinence than the other approaches in his study. ‘The message was not mixed with any other messages,’ said Jemmott.)
2. Reasons of the Heart
Study: Weed S., Ericksen I.H., Lewis A., Grant G.E., & Wibberly K.H. (2008). An abstinence program’s impact on cognitive mediators and sexual initiation. American Journal Health Behavior, 32(1):60-73.
Statistically Significant Results: Of the comparison group 16.4% had initiated sexual intercourse after one year. In the program group 9.2% had initiated sexual intercourse, indicating that virgin program students were 46% as likely to initiate sexual intercourse as the virgins in the comparison group after one year.
3. Arkansas – Title V Funded Programs
Study: Birch P. and Weed S. (2008). Phase V Final Report:
Statistically Significant Results: Adolescents in the program group who were sexually experienced at the pretest were significantly more likely to be sexually abstinent after 12 months than the comparison students (22% vs. 14%, ORadjusted=1.98, p=.026.) Males in the program group who were sexually inexperienced at the pretest were significantly less likely to initiate sexual intercourse after 12 months than males in the comparison group (18% vs. 28%, ORadjusted=.51, p=.04). In other words, after adjusting for pretest differences, sexually experienced teens and sexually inexperienced male teens who received abstinence education were about twice as likely to be sexually abstinent one year later than those who did not.
4. Heritage Keepers®: A Replication.
Study: Birch P. and Weed S. (2008). Effects of Heritage Keepers® Abstinence Education Program: A Replication. Salt Lake City: The Institute for Research & Evaluation.
Statistically Significant Results: Youth in the program group were significantly less likely to have initiated sex than those in the comparison group 10 months following the program (10.1% vs. 24.4%, ORadjusted = 0.346, p = 0.002). Evidence suggested that program effects on cognitive mediators of initiation of sex were responsible for much of the observed difference between program and comparison groups, strengthening the causal attribution.
5. Earle School District
Statistically Significant Preliminary Results: Youth with prior sexual experience at the start of the program reduced their sexual activity and number of partners after participating in the abstinence classes. The pretest was given at the beginning of the school year, with the posttest given at the conclusion of the school year. “Students in the study schools had sex significantly fewer times than students in the comparison school (Z = -3.26, p =0.0011), and also had significantly fewer partners than students in the comparison school (Z = -2.72, p = 0.0066) between the pre and posttest.”
In an effort to triangulate the self-reported evaluation findings, school records collected since 2001 indicate, that since the abstinence program began, incidence of teen pregnancy in the senior class has dropped from 1 in 2 girls (2001) to 1 in 10 girls (2009).
6. Sex Can Wait
Study: Denny, G., & Young, M. (2006). An evaluation of an abstinence-only sex education curriculum: An 18-month follow-up. Journal of School Health, 76 8): 414-422.
Statistically Significant Results: For the upper elementary age group, at 18-month follow-up, the treatment group was less likely to report participation in sexual intercourse in the last month. At the middle school at 18-month follow-up there were significant differences (p<.05) between the treatment group and comparison group with the treatment group less likely to report participation in sexual intercourse ever and in the last month. At the high school level there were statistically significant differences between treatment and comparison groups with students in the Sex Can Wait group less likely to report participation in sexual intercourse, ever and in the last month.
7. Heritage Keepers
State: South Carolina
Study: Weed, S.E., Ericksen I.H., & Birch P.J. (2005). An evaluation of the Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education Program.
Statistically Significant Results: Of the program students who were virgin at the pretest and who also answered the follow-up sex question, 14.5 percent, had sex between the pre and follow-up. Of the virgin comparison students, 26.5 percent initiated sex between pre and follow-up. The results from the study indicate that program virgins were about one-half as likely (odds ratio=.539) as comparison group virgins to initiate sex by the 12 month follow-up, after controlling for pretest differences.
8. Choosing the Best
Study: Weed, S.E., & Ericksen I.H., (2008) What kind of
Statistically Significant Results: Of the program students who were virgins at pretest, 11.5% had initiated sex between pretest and follow-up. Of the virgin comparison students, 21.6% initiated sex during the same period. The risk of a CTB participant initiating sexual intercourse was 43% of a non-participant.
9. Best Friends
State: Washington, D.C.
Study: Lerner, R., (2004). Can abstinence work? An analysis of the Best Friends Program. Adolescent and Family Health, 3(4), 185-192.
Statistically Significant Results: Adjusting for the survey year, students’ age, grade, and race and ethnicity, the study reported that Best Friends girls were nearly 6.5 times more likely to abstain from sexual activity than YRBS respondents. They were 2.4 times more likely to abstain from smoking, 8.1 times more likely to abstain from illegal drug use, and 1.9 more likely to abstain from drinking.
10. Not Me, Not Now
State: New York
Study: Doniger, A., Adams, E., Utter, C. & Riley, J. (2001).
Statistically Significant Results: The percentage of students who self-reported having intercourse by age 15 dropped by a statistically significant amount, from 46.6% to 31.6%. The adolescent pregnancy rate for Monroe County dropped from 63.4% to 49.5%. By comparison, Monroe’s pregnancy rate was higher for the two surrounding counties at the beginning of the Not Me, Not Now campaign and lower than both counties at the end of the campaign.
11. For Keeps
Study: Borawski, E.A.,Trapl E.S., Lovegreen, L.D., Colabianchi, N., & Block T. (2005). Effectiveness of abstinence-only intervention in middle school teens. American Journal Health Behavior, 29(5), 423-434.
Statistically Significant Results: Sexually active students who were exposed to the intervention reported fewer episodes of sexual intercourse (P<.05) and fewer partners (P<.01) during the 5 month period than did the control group.
12. Worth the Wait
Study: Tanner Jr.,J.F., & Ladd, R.N. (2005). Saturation Abstinence Education: An application of social marketing In Golden A (Ed.) Evaluating Abstinence Education Programs: Improving Implementation and Assessing Impact. Washington DC: Office of Population Affairs and the Administration for Children and Families. Dept of Health and Human Services.
Statistically Significant Results: As in most of the U.S. the incidence of teen pregnancy declined in the study area for the period under study. The decline, though, was singularly dramatic for the county with the longest period of intervention, the pregnancy rate declined from 34.8 to 16.1. The entire program area dropped from 35.1 to 23.8, a decline of nearly one-third. The state by comparison, declined from 36.2 to 28.5, a 21 percent drop. The region (including a number of counties not served by WTW) experienced a decline of 19 percent, from 39.8 to 32.2.
13. Abstinence By Choice
Study: Weed, S.E. (2001, October 15). Title V abstinence education programs: Phase I interim evaluation report to Arkansas Department of Health. Salt Lake City: Institute for Research and Evaluation.
Statistically Significant Results: 5.9 percent of eighth grade program girls had initiated sexual activity compared with a 10.2 comparison rate. Among eighth grade boy participants, 15.8 percent had initiated sexual activity, compared with 22.8 percent for comparison rate boys. Program effects in reducing the onset of sexual activity were significant at the 98 percent confidence level.
14. Stay SMART
Study: St. Pierre, T.L., Mark, M.M.,Kaltreider, D.L., & Aikin, K.J. (1995) A 27-month evaluation of sexual activity prevention program in Boys and Girls Clubs across the Nation.
Statistically Significant Results: The study found that two years after the program, youth who had engaged in prior sexual activity and participated in the Stay SMART program exhibited reduced levels of recent sexual activity.
Study: Weed, S.E. (1994). FACTS Project: Year end evaluation report, 1993-1994. Prepared for the Office of the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programs, U.S. Department of Health and Human
Statistically Significant Results: The evaluation found the FACTS program to be highly effective in delaying the onset of sexual activity. The twelve month transition rates from virgin to non-virgin status was 10.2% for the program classroom students and 6.25% for the evening program students. The comparable transition rate for the control students was 18.5%.
16. Teen Aid/Sex Respect
Study: Weed, S.E.(1992, December). Predicting and changing sexual activity rates: A comparison of three Title XX programs. Report submitted to the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Salt Lake City: Institute for Research and Evaluation.
Statistically Significant Results: 22 percent of high school students in the program group with “low-to medium-levels of sexual values” had sex for the first time compared with 37 percent of control group teens with the same level of “sexual values”. In addition when high school and junior high school students were examined together, Sex Respect was shown to reduce the rate of transition of sexual
17. Teen Aid Family Life Education Project
Study: Weed, S.E., Prigmore, J., Tenas, R. (1992). The Teen Aid Family Life Education Project: Fifth year evaluation report.
Statistically Significant Results: The Teen Aid program was shown to have a statistically significant effect in reducing the rate of initiation of sexual activity among high risk high school students by more than one-fourth, from 37 percent to 27 percent compared to the control group.
Studies Validating the Efficacy of Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Abstinence Education