- An optimal public health strategy
- A holistic approach addressing many facets of teen life
- A poverty prevention strategy
- An effective message that benefits all teens
- An approach overwhelmingly supported by parents.
Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan (from briefing): "I remember doing a radio interview with Sirius XM and the deejay was sarcastically asking me, ‘So, you’re Miss America, so you’re a virgin, right?’ And I said, ‘Yes, actually, I am,’ and he didn’t know what to say.
“It’s one of those things that people are surprised at because they think it’s not possible. But then you see the numbers—that almost 75 percent of 15-to-17-year-olds are wanting to wait. That’s pretty incredible.
“This attitude that people have that ‘everybody is doing it’ is not necessarily the case. It takes some people to stand up and say the truth--that you can 'survive' until you’re 20 years old [as I am] and that you can wait until you’re married. And yes, it’s difficult, but having not only parents but school as well communicating that message makes a huge difference.
“We’re now seeing the results and consequences of [sexual activity]. Our parents grew up in an environment of ‘free sex for everyone.’ Well, guess what—we’ve had enough of that; we don’t want to try that anymore. We want [sex] to be something special; we want it to be something more. Young people are searching for relationships that mean more. Young girls are searching for men who are going to value them more.
“This is about the health issues and should be taught the same way that drug and alcohol prevention are taught. It’s not just ‘okay’ to do—the health risks are too high. There is nothing that will protect against pregnancy or an STD 100 percent except abstinence.
“Now for me it’s mostly for moral and theological reasons, but you don’t have to agree with me theologically to believe that this is the best route to take. There is no reason we should not be presenting this side of the story. Young people are wanting it; they are needing it. I have seen the ramifications firsthand, with so many friends and family members. I’ve had many teenage friends get pregnant just in the past six months.
“It is possible to make smart decisions and to be responsible, and young people need to be encouraged in that. They will rise to the challenge when we say, ‘Your future and your health are in your hands.’”
Use our Freedom2Care Legislative Action site to tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to support the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act (H.R. 718; S. 13). Just click each link below and enter your zip code to access and send the pre-written, customizable message:
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National Abstinence Education Association
CMDA Ethics Statement: Human Sexuality