|Bottom Line: Abstinence Saves Taxpayers Billions
* $6.9 billion is the annual cost savings to taxpayers since abstinence education has been funded for teenagers nationwide.
* $4,080 is the annual cost of a child born to a mother 17 years old or younger.
* Since 1991, when federal abstinence funding began, there has been a 43% decrease in teen births to15-17 year olds, despite a 25% increase in that age population.
* Only 40% of teen mothers graduate from high school and only 2% complete college by age 30.
* Sons born to adolescent mothers are 2.2 times more likely to be incarcerated.
* The Centers for Disease Control attribute 67% of teen birth reductions to fewer teens being sexually active (known as abstinence).
("By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing, " The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2006)
VIRGINITY PLEDGES IMPROVE LIFE OUTCOMES FOR TEENS
* 2/3 less likely to experience teen pregnancy.
* 70% still virgins by age 18 compared to 37% of non-pledgers.
* 1/3 less likely to give birth as teens or young adults.
* 50% less likely to give birth out of wedlock.
* 17% of pledgers had unprotected sex compared to 28% of non-pledgers.
* 53% of pledgers had sexual intercourse between ages 19-25 compared with 87% of non-pledgers. (Abstinence funding should be expanded to single-college age young adults.)
* Pledgers were 12 times more likely to be virgins on their wedding night.
* There were NO NEGATIVE risk factors associated with virginity pledges.
(National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Healthy, 2004, research done by Robert Rector and Kirk Johnson, Heritage Foundation)
HEALTH RISKS TO TEENS WHO BECOME SEXUALLY ACTIVE
* Increased teen pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases that can lead to infertility, genital cancers and death. (CDC, 2004)
* Teens who have abortions experience elevated rates of suicide, depression, substance abuse, anxiety and other mental health problems. ("The Duty to Screen: Clinical, Legal and Ethical Implications of Predictive Risk Factors of Post-Abortive Maladjustment," The Journal of Contemporary Health and Law and Policy, Winter, 2003; 33-144)
* Sexually active females are 3 times more likely and males are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide. Suicide rates have doubled in 40 yrs. (Sexually Active Teenagers Are More Likely to Be Depressed and To Attempt Suicide, Robert Rector, Kirk Johnson, Ph.D. Lauren Noves, 6/2/03)
* of sexually active girls are depressed all, most or a lot of the time and have 3 times greater depression rates than abstinent girls. Ibid
* Sexually active boys are twice as likely to be depressed as abstinent boys. Ibid
* Sexually active females are 5 times more likely to be victimized by dating violence than girls who are abstinent. (www.webmd.com, 8/2/04; Pediatrics, 8/04)
* Sexually active teens are much more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol. (Columbia Univ. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 2004)
Pam Mullarkey, Ph.D.
Project SOS, Inc.
(904) 279-0870 phone
(904) 279-0871 fax
(904) 537-4053 cell
6850 Belfort Oaks Place
Jacksonville, FL 32216