Reuters is reporting that teenagers that take those “abstinence pledges” are knocking slightly fewer boots than their non-pledgy cohorts.
A study by the Rand Corporation research institute found that 34 percent of youths who took such pledges as teens had had sexual intercourse within three years compared to 42 percent of similar teens who did not make virginity pledges.
The team says abstinence pledges may work because the teenagers are essentially volunteering themselves for peer pressure, setting themselves up for a lifetime of self-loathing to go along with their blue balls:
“Making a pledge to remain a virgin until married may provide extra motivation to adolescents who want to delay becoming sexually active,” said Steven Martino, a psychologist at Rand who led the study.
“The act of pledging may create some social pressure or social support that helps them to follow through with their clearly stated public intention.”
I would like to propose an alternative hypothesis — with a firm hat tip to TBogg — that while some choose abstinence, others have it thrust upon them.
Virginity pledges help some delay sex – US study [Boston Globe]