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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Abstinence Failure Rates

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Author Topic: Abstinence Failure Rates
bubblex
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http://www.sexetc.org/index.php?topic=Stories&sub_topic=Deciding+about+Sex&content_id=1609

I just wanted to know what everyone thinks about the failure rates projected for abstinence in this article from SEX Etc.


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starlet
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The failure rates shocked me. I always heard that abstinence was 100% safe. After reading the article all the way through, however, I can see how abstinence wouldn't be 100% safe. Still, I don't see how they are that high either... crazy...
I don't really remember ever being preached to about abstinence in school, however, hearing people talk about it, I always assumed that it was taught that abstinence meant not having sex at all... and this article made it sound as if some people were unclear about the definition.
I agree with the last paragraph VERY MUCH. Not many kids are going to wait to have sex just because some teachers or parents tell them to. Teaching about safe sex would be beneficial.
Thanks for sharing this article. I found it very interesting.

------------------
.:*starlet

[This message has been edited by starlet (edited 01-09-2005).]


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gubblebum
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I found this article silly and misleading. Although the end of the article has some very important facts about teaching kids about abstinence and protection, the whole of the article makes it sound as if abstinence is not effective.

Abstaining completely from sex is 100% effective in avoiding pregnancy and STIs. If you are having sex occasionally, but then going periods of not having sex, then you are NOT abstaining. Abstinence can not fail because you're either doing it or you're not. If you're having sex it is not an "abstinence failure," it's not even practicing it. Kind of like having sex without a condom and getting pregnant is not a condom failure.

I think this article had good intentions, but it's confusing and I don't think everyone will understand it.


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Heather
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quote:
Abstaining completely from sex is 100% effective in avoiding pregnancy and STIs

Careful with that, gubblebum. While yes, abstaining from intercourse and other kinds of heterosexual sexual activity IS 100% effective against pregnancy in perfect use, bear in mind that the effectiveness-in-actual-use ratings for ANY method of birth control always INCLUDE what method people SAY they are using, even when they do not use that method. For instance, the 80% effectiveness-in-actual-use figure often cited for condoms includes people reporting condoms as a method, but also intances in which those users did not USE the condoms, and yes, that is figured into rates as a failure of that method. So, to be accurate about abstinence in the same way, one has to consider when it is the method stated, but not practiced.

You follow? To sum up, it was not actually misleading, but instead, was applying the same standards to effectiveness for abstinence as are applied to all other methods for actual, rather than perfect, use.

As well, some STIs, like Herpes and pubic lice, for instance, are very OFTEN spread without sexual activity.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 01-10-2005).]


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logic_grrl
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quote:
Abstaining completely from sex is 100% effective

quote:
While yes, abstaining from intercourse and other kinds of heterosexual sexual activity IS 100% effective against pregnancy in perfect use
{emphasis mine}

As the article pointed out, a whole 'nother factor here is that since "abstinence only" curricula often only teach about "sex" as meaning vaginal intercourse (since they typically don't approve of anything else), plenty of people imagine they are "abstaining completely from sex" because they're not having intercourse - even though they're engaging in other sexual activities.


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Barbarosa
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So it appears that even abstinence is subject to "perfect use" and "typical use" data....

Heh Heh Heh


Posts: 380 | From: Up North, Wisconsin | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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