Teenage Virginity Pledges Are Rarely Kept

NYT: Study Finds That Teenage Virginity Pledges Are Rarely Kept

Among teenagers who pledged not to have sex before marriage, a majority did not live up to their vows, according to a national study reported here on Tuesday. The teenagers also developed sexually transmitted diseases at about the same rate as adolescents who had not made such pledges.

But a pledge to refrain from premarital sex, the researchers found, did tend to delay the start of sexual intercourse by 18 months. The adolescents who took virginity pledges also married earlier and had fewer sexual partners than the other teenagers surveyed, said Dr. Peter Bearman, the chairman of the sociology department at Columbia University and the lead author of the study.

I await the study that investigates New Years resolutions.

FILED UNDER: Religion
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. steve says:

    “I await the study that investigates New Years resolutions.”

    Too bad there are some in this country who want to make so called virginity pledges part of serious public policy. When serious people call for new years resolutions in order to solve serious socail problems your point will stand.

  2. DeltaDave says:

    “But a pledge to refrain from premarital sex, the researchers found, did tend to delay the start of sexual intercourse by 18 months.”

    Hmmmmmm…18 months in the life of a teenage IS a life time. I’m not sure we aren’t mixing adult conceptions of time (apples) with teenager conceptions of time (oranges)

  3. It would mean that a fifteen-year-old might wait until she’s sixteen and a half.

    Honestly, I think all young girls need to be taught ways of getting . . . getting the train off the tracks when they aren’t ready, aren’t in the mood, aren’t that attracted to THIS guy, etc. etc. There are too many young ladies who don’t want to hurt the guy’s feelings and don’t know how to “de-sexualize” a situation.

    Now, whether the state is the best means to that end, I’m not so sure.

  4. Virginity pledges not kept; news at 11
    James Joyner links this NYT piece with the snarky comment: I await the study that investigates New Years resolutions. I tend to agree with commenter “steve,” who writes: Too bad there are some in this country who want to make…