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Religious right "virginity pledges" do not work

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No surprise here and I'm sure the lunatic right will do their best to ignore the results. The big question here is whether Obama and the new Congress will put an end to funding this waste of money or if they will buckle under yet again to the anti-science, anti-rational American Taliban. The problem is not only in the US as the Bush administration had exported this program (with US tax dollars, of course) around the world.

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.

The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.

"Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior," said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. "But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking."

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