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August 2, 1986
Be serious! Abstinence is not ignoring sexuality, it is introducing a "new" idea and way of dealing with one's sexuality. Also, rather than making a judgment that everyone is "doing it," why doesn't the author of this editorial do a study on teen-agers who are aware of practicing abstinence and the zero number of pregnancies in that group? It is odd also that this writer thinks of sexuality in terms of intercourse. Our sexuality is a part of who we are as persons whether we ever have intercourse or not, and believe it or not most people are aware of his or her sexuality as a small child.
February 20, 2002
Secretary of State Colin Powell is to be commended for speaking out in favor of condom use ("Unlike His Boss, Powell Takes Pro-Condom Stand," Feb. 15). As for those who are criticizing him for doing so, it's clear that they're more interested in advancing a sex-negative agenda than they are in saving lives. Yes, abstinence should be taught. But it should be taught as part of a complete program of sex education, including information on masturbation and all forms of contraception. While it is true that abstinence is the surest way to avoid sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy, it's also true that proper condom use greatly reduces those risks.
May 17, 1986
Hurray for Abstinence! Thank you for running the article by Cal Thomas (Editorial Pages, May 5), "Why Not Tell Teen-Agers to Avoid Premarital Sex?" I'm no longer a voice crying in an indifferent wilderness, beginning to feel hopelessly out of date. For years I have spoken and written to friends and acquaintances in the youth welfare field, both locally and nationally, urging them to start a national movement with the theme of "Abstinence, not Abortion!" And in the last year I've changed it to "Abstinence, not Abortion or AIDS."
At the YMCA in this northern outpost of Appalachia is a rarity: a federal social program that President Bush wants to beef up. A group of teens and preteens is gathered in a windowless cinder-block room playing a game called "basket of consequences." A boy whose flattop looks like freshly mowed grass reaches into a basket, pulls out a plastic egg, cracks it open and takes out a picture of a ghost.
If last year's hit movie "American Pie" is correct, the pursuit of the first sexual experience is still a defining theme of youth. The comedy chronicled the antics of four high school friends who vow to lose their virginity by prom night. But for a minority of teens and 20-somethings, virginity is not only a defining characteristic, but, in some cases, even hip.
December 29, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence, and they are significantly less likely to use birth control when they do, according to a study. 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." The percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or STDs was 10 points lower for pledgers than for nonpledgers.
April 3, 2001
I was glad to see "Churches Confront Sex Addiction" (March 30), taking up a sensitive subject. I was also sad, though, being reminded that as a culture we flip back and forth between compulsive, irresponsible sexuality and stern, tense abstinence: "sex recovery." What's missing is the lifting up of a lovely sexual intimacy in a lasting relationship as one of several possible ideals in a satisfying and productive life. TOM ARMBRUSTER Orange
January 3, 2011 | Tami Dennis / Tribune Health
Sexually transmitted diseases -- so easy to get, so difficult to remember how or when. That's not quite the conclusion of a new study published Monday in Pediatrics, but suffice to say: Don't take a young adult's claim of abstinence as proof he or she is disease-free. (The same may well hold true for older adults, but this study was limited to the young variety.) Researchers at  Emory University analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and tested 14,012 of the respondents (with their permission)
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