The following programs are offered to the residents of Perry and Juniata Counties.
- Choosing the Best Soul Mate: Grades 11-12. In 5 lessons, older students learn valuable relational skills necessary for a successful marriage, including the importance of abstinence.
- Choosing the Best Life: Grades 8-10. Empowering students to form healthy, positive relationships, 8 lessons dynamically reinforce abstinence through real-life teen stories and role-play.
- Choosing the Best Path: Grades 7-8. Challenging enough to keep middle-schoolers’ attention, 8 lessons cover the myths of “safe” sex and the benefits of abstinence.
- Choosing the Best Way: Grades 6-7. Reinforced by posters and activities, these 6 lessons teach how to make decisions, assess relationships, and choose abstinence.
If you have questions about an upcoming event at your school, or want to learn about scheduling a class, please contact us at 717-589-7208.
Additional online educator resources:
- www.teachersguides.com (password: abstain)
Abstinence Education Makes Sense & It Works!
- Keeping young people from engaging in sexual activity, beyond obviously protecting them from deadly diseases, will help keep them from other dangerous behaviors. A recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that “early first sexual intercourse has been associated with risky behaviors such as using drugs, not using contraception at first intercourse, having more sex with partners, and having more frequent intercourse.”
- Abstinent teens have healthier attitudes about sex than their sexually active peers. Family Planning Perspectives reports that “compared with peers who are not sexually active, seventh-grade and eighth grade males who are sexually active tend to be less knowledgeable about HIV, less fearful of contracting HIV, less tolerant of people who have AIDS and more likely to engage in risky behaviors.”
- In an inner-city sex ed program in Atlanta, Ga., conducted jointly by Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital, teenage girls were asked what they wanted most in a sex ed program. Eighty-four percent of the teenage girls indicated they wanted information on “how to say ‘no’ without hurting the other person’s feelings.”
- Family Planning Perspectives recently reported that “instruction in some components of sex education also affects age at first intercourse. Among non-blacks, instruction in resistance skills (how to say no to sex) is associated with a decreased risk of early first intercourse. Among blacks, instruction in sexual biology is associated with an elevated risk of early first intercourse.”
- Participants involved in the abstinence based Sex Respect program in 26 public schools had a five percent pregnancy rate after two years of being enrolled in the program as opposed to a nine percent rate in the student control group not enrolled in the program. A significant majority (71%) believe “it is important for me not to have sex before I get married.”
- When Sex Respect was offered in a St. Louis district middle school, pregnancies fell from 40 a year to 10.
- A 1991 study, conducted by the Institute for Research and Evaluation, published in Adolescence explains, “Sex education programs that promote abstinence can be effective in producing a positive attitude change towards abstinence.”
- Teens are more likely to engage in sexual activity if they perceive that peers and adults approve of the behavior. For example:
- The Journal of Marriage and Family recently reported on factors connected with early adolescent sexual activity. The authors of the study explain that there is “some evidence that suggests that teens are more likely to be sexually active if they perceive that many of their peers are also sexually active.”
- In addition, the same study found that “permissive parental values regarding adolescent sexual behavior emerged as a strong risk factor for both males and females. Not surprisingly, adolescents who perceived their parents as accepting of premarital adolescent sexual activity were more likely to be sexually experienced.”
What are the Components of an Effective Abstinence Program?
- 5 “Leverage Points” That Affect Sexual Involvement
- Value System: their sense of what is important and unimportant, good and bad, right and wrong.
- Social System: family, peer groups, dating partners
- Related Risk Behaviors and Activities: drug and alcohol use; early, frequent and steady dating; skipping school
- Personality System: personal efficacy, risk-taking propensity, rebelliousness, future orientation, need for acceptance, personal vulnerability.
- Information: knowledge regarding sexuality, reproduction, contraception.
- In Utah, an average of 4.6 percent of junior and senior high school students lose their virginity each year. When the student’s value system is low, the rate is 12.4% per year. A strong value system makes a threefold difference.
- When students’ value systems are low, and they have a sexually active peer group, and they drink and date steadily, 48% will lose their virginity in one year. This is a thousandfold increase over the state average. When the safe sex message is added, it makes no difference in behavior.
- The Great Debate: Organize a classroom debate about a sexual health issue (preferably an issue relating to current events). Students can split into two teams, with each team researching and preparing to argue one side of the issue. Students can take on different roles, such as researcher, debater, and moderator. This can help students better understand social issues, and develop their own informed opinions about the subject.
- Breaking Down Myths: Have each student write and design a bumper sticker that focuses on busting a common myth about pregnancy, teen parenthood, or STD prevention. Students can come up with creative slogans and eye-catching designs for their stickers. Slogans should focus on abstinence as the best method of avoiding pregnancy and STDs.
- Differing Expectations: Discuss with the class the role that gender plays in dating relationships. To facilitate this, generate two lists as a class: one of ways boys are “supposed to” act and what they’re “supposed to” want and do the same for girls. Some examples for the lists might be: boys are supposed to want sex on a first date or girls are supposed to be the ones to say no. Ask students to explain why these stereotypes are not true. And discuss how these stereotypes can hurt both sexes when it comes to making smart decisions about sex.
- Letter to The Editor: Ask students to list the magazines they read on a regular basis. Choose several appropriate magazines from this group, and have students bring in samples for the class to look at. Call attention to the ads and articles dealing with sex or depicting sexual attraction. Have students discuss such questions as: Is this an accurate representation of most of the people who read this magazine? Does this ad/article promote unrealistic ideals of beauty/wealth? Does this ad/article promote a realistic view of sex? Are safer sex measures or abstinence portrayed or discussed in a positive way? Once the class has discussed these issues, have each student write a letter expressing his or her opinions to the editor of one of the magazines.
- Your Hero: have students write a short report on their own personal hero. Their hero can be someone they know (like a parent) or a famous person. Students can focus their reports on these questions: What qualities do you admire most about this person? Are the things you admire in your hero things you could achieve? How could you achieve goals similar to those of your hero? And how could abstinence help you?
- Interview: Have each student interview his or her parents or a friend’s parents about what makes their relationship work. Students can ask such questions as: How did you know that your partner was the one for you? What do you like best about each other? What was the most romantic thing your partner ever did for you? How do you work out your differences? Can you give an example? Students can write up their report in the form of a magazine celebrity interview.