Journal of Adolescent Health But programs advocating abstinence often fail to prevent young people from having sex, researchers write in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Centers for Disease Control, Such programs, sometimes referred to as "abstinence only until marriage" programs, typically advocate monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual intercourse and as the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, public health data indicate that such programs "have little demonstrated efficacy in helping adolescents to delay intercourse," the authors write. Americans are marrying later, on average, and some are not marrying at all, but they're not waiting longer to begin having sex. Huber, who was suspended from her position at the Ohio Department of Health after a state ethics investigation in , is founder of the National Abstinence Educators Association, which later became Ascend. But here we are, in the upside down. For example, while abstinence-only classes encourage young people to take a pledge that they will remain virgins until marriage, the Waxman study cites research that indicates "virginity pledgers" are no less likely to engage in premarital sex than their peers. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. Students are also opposed to abstinence-only education. When American teens do begin having sex, they may fail to use condoms or other forms of contraception, unlike their peers in other countries who have routine access to contraceptive education and counseling, the report suggests. I spoke to young people who were taught they could be arrested for having premarital sex, and others who were warned birth control pills would make them infertile.