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Fact Sheets

Questions and Answers: Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs
This fact sheet answers the most frequently asked questions about abstinence-only-until-marriage programs including how much money the federal government spends each year, what is wrong with this restrictive approach, and what the research says.

What the Research Says About Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs
Abstinence-only-until-marriage have been around for well over 25 years, and yet there are still no published studies in peer-reviewed journals that shows that these programs are effective. In fact, there is mounting evidence that these programs simply don’t work. This fact sheet, part of our series for policymakers, explains the existing research on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in detail.

“I Swear I Won’t”: A Brief Explanation of Virginity Pledges
Virginity pledges— promises young people make to remain abstinent until marriage—were once the sole province of religious institutions. Today, however, they are the corner stone of most abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. This fact sheet, part of our series for policymakers, explores the history of virginity pledges and explains why these promises are not an effective strategy for keeping young people safe.

In Their Own Words
Many federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs rely on fear, shame, and guilt to try to control young people’s sexual behavior. These programs include negative messages about sexuality, distort information about condoms and STDs, and promote biases based on gender, sexual orientation, marriage, family structure, and pregnancy options. This fact sheet, part of our series for policymakers, provides examples of just what these programs are telling young people.

The Five Most Egregious Uses of Welfare’s Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funds
The federal government spends over $170 million each year on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Though they are often sold as teen pregnancy prevention, these programs instead use taxpayer money to promote religions and instill fear, shame, and guilt in young people. This fact sheet, part of our series for policymakers, shows some of the worst examples of what the federal government is paying for young people to learn.

A Step in the Right Direction: Medically Accurate Abstinence-Only Programs without Fear and Shame
SIECUS believes that programs that teach only abstinence are at best insufficient. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, states or school boards still insist on teaching abstinence-only programs that exclude information about contraception and condoms. In order to provide advocates in these communities with another option, this fact sheet lists a number of abstinence-only programs that do not include messages of fear and shame in hopes that they will be able to suggest them as stepping stones toward comprehensive sexuality education. 


National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education