A recent study concerning the ineffectiveness of "virginity pledges" is a slap in the face to the religious folks who say that being abstinent is the only way to go and masturbating will cause hair on your palms. Apparently, even though pledgers have that awkwardly short "first time" later on in life, they are just as likely to get knocked up out of wedlock and get STDs as their culturally conservative counterparts. This study conveniently coincides with the Granny Palin story. From CNN:
In the analysis, Rosenbaum compared 289 young adults who took virginity pledges in their teens with 645 young people who did not take such a pledge. The researcher was careful to only compare teens who had similar views on religion, birth control and sex in general, regardless of whether or not they took a pledge.I can't knock anyone for wanting to stay "pure". With all the weird diseases out there it's respectable and even the subject of some damn fine movies. But just saying that you're taking a "pledge" because your parents or your minister told you so might not be the best method. Young people who desire to rock the V credentials should go with time-tested birth control techniques like being ugly, a nerd, and/or a blogger.
Five years after the initial survey the study subjects were aged 20 to 23. Eighty-two percent of pledge takers denied (or forgot) they had ever taken such a vow. Overall pledge takers were no different from non-pledge takers in terms of their premarital sex, anal and oral sexual practices, and their probability of having a sexually transmitted disease.
Both groups lost their virginity at an average age of 21, had about three lifetime partners, and had similar rates of STDs. "And the majority were having premarital sex, over 50 percent," says Rosenbaum. Overall, roughly 75 percent of pledgers and non-pledgers were sexually active, and about one in five was married.