Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The Editorial
by Dr DiClemente1 criticizes the $50 million per year
allocated by Congress for abstinence education as a triumph of ideology
over science. There are reasons to believe that the editorialist has
made a hasty judgment.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health found that teens
whose parents made it clear that they expected them not to have sex and
expected their teens not to use birth control were much less likely to
have had sex than other teens.2 In addition, teens who had
made a pledge of abstinence were 3 times less likely to have had sex.
Panzer RA, . Abstinence and Safer Sex Among Adolescents. JAMA. 1999;281(16):1485-1488. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-16-jbk0428