Teenagers who take pledges to remain virgins until marriage are likely to deny having taken the pledge if they later become sexually active. Conversely, those who were sexual active before taking the pledge frequency deny their sexual history, according to new study findings.
These findings imply that virginity pledgers often provide unreliable data, making assessment of abstinence-based sex education programs unreliable. In addition, these teens may also underestimate their risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
“Teenagers do not report their past sexual activity accurately, with virginity pledgers giving more inaccurate reports of their past sexual activity,” study author Janet Rosenbaum, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health.