Monday, February 20, 2006

purity rings... this is so sick

Under the Bush administration, organizations that promote abstinence and encourage teens to sign virginity pledges or wear purity rings have received federal grants. The Silver Ring Thing, a subsidiary of a Pennsylvania evangelical church, has received more than $1 million from the government to promote abstinence and to sell its rings in the United States and abroad.

According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, the federal budget in 2005 allocates $168 million to abstinence-only education. President Bush is seeking $206 million for 2006.

In a 2001 study published in the American Journal of Sociology, Peter Bearman, a professor of sociology at Columbia University, found that only 12 percent of the more than 2.5 million adolescents who had made a virginity pledge by 1995 remained abstinent until marriage. Abstinence pledges do delay sex for an average of 18 months, Bearman found, but those who break their pledges are a third less likely to use protection.

Pledgers are less likely to be prepared for an experience that they have promised to forgo, the study found.

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