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... Celibacy vows not effective, new research reveals Celibacy vows not effective, new research reveals

31 December 2008

It seems that taking a vow of celibacy just doesn't work if an American study of almost 1,000 teenagers is anything to go by.

The Daily Mail reported on the findings of the study which revealed that teenagers who had taken a virginity pledge were just as likely to have pre-marital sex as those who had not taken the vow.

Not only that, the study showed that there was no difference in the number of sexual partners when comparing those who had vowed to abstain with those who hadn't.

Perhaps even more surprising was the fact that there was no difference in the age at which either group started to have sex.

Spelling out the conclusions of the study, researcher Janet Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, said: "Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behaviour."

The study went as far as to suggest that there is a negative impact on those who take a vow to remain a virgin until they marry.

According to the study, those who pledged their virginity and failed in abstaining were ten per cent less likely to use a condom.

Not only that, pledgers who had fallen off the virginity wagon were less likely to use any form of contraception.

The problem, according to Ms Rosenbaum, occurs because "sex education programmes for teens who take pledges tend to be very negative and inaccurate about condom and birth control information".

Ms Rosenbaum did concede that religious teenagers are more likely to delay having sex but she said this was unconnected to either virginity pledges or sex education.

American boy band, the Jonas Brothers, are high profile celebrities who have spoken openly about their vow of celibacy.

The three brothers all wear purity rings to signify that they have vowed to abstain from sex before marriage.