Why Abstinence Education? It’s Right — and It Works.

U.S. Olympic track and field athlete Lori Jones, or "Lolo," as her fans calls her, won gold medals for the United States in 2008 and 2010.  Although she just missed qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics (coming in fourth place), Jones recently earned gold in the eyes of young women (and men) who are saving their hearts and sexuality for marriage by stating her commitment to do the same.  

"It's just a gift that I want to give to my husband," Lolo told HBO's Real Sports. In the interview she talks about how difficult it is to save yourself sexually in today's 'anything-goes' environment and how she's judged for being a virgin.

Jones isn't alone in the sporting world. How about the young, single professional football star, Tim Tebow? And some might remember pro basketball star, "Iron Man" A.C. Green. Both received the same odd looks and jeering comments from the media and fans when they expressed their dedication to remain sexually chaste until they were married. 

It's a counter-cultural message elevated by some well-respected, high-profile athletes. Yet these positive profiles are rarely examined by students in public schools. Don't they deserve to hear about the benefits of sexual abstinence until marriage and see some examples of living it in the real world? 

Abstinence is Right. 

Focus on the Family support sexual abstinence-until-marriage education in the public schools, as it follows God's plan for sexuality and reflects a biblical vision of marriage and family. And, although teachers can't teach about the Bible or God in public schools, the facts speak for themselves: Everyone benefits when students learn godly principles and moral truths.

Abstinence works! 

There are universals truths that apply here. 

First, sex produces babies. Sexual abstinence prevents pregnancy. Abstinence-until-marriage — and faithfulness after marriage — not only protects against sexually transmitted diseases,  it gives young people a stronger platform from which to pursue their dreams and goals.  It's a winning proposition!

Another reality about remaining sexually abstinent in our sex-obsessed culture is that it's tough. Kids need their parents, churches and schools to expect — and support — this healthy standard for behavior.  

One question that's often asked by school officials is, "Can we trust abstinence-education programs to work, or is this just a bunch of religious hype?" 

The resounding answer is, "Yes." Parents and school administrators can trust in the effectiveness of today's strong abstinence programs. Research supports the effectiveness of abstinence-centered education in public schools, and most abstinence programs encourage parents to remain the primary sex educators of their children.

"What's the point?" some may ask. "Aren't teens going to have sex no matter what?" 

No. In fact, research finds that the majority (almost 53 percent) of all high school students nationally, grades 9-12, has not had sex —and that's great news! 

Let's build confidence in our kids to do what's right and support them in remaining sexually abstinent until they marry. And let's get schools and churches on board, as well.