Select Media Launches New Abstinence-Only Sex Education Program

Share Article

New Evidence-Based Intervention Proven Effective in Reducing the Risk of HIV, STDs and Teen Pregnancy

Select Media, the nation’s leading evidence-based health education publishing and media company, today announced the launch of a new evidence-based abstinence-only sex education program, The Promoting Health Among Teens! Abstinence-Only Intervention. The new program is designed to help teachers, health professionals, social service providers and community leaders reduce the risk of HIV, STDs, and teen pregnancy through a cognitive-based, behavior-change approach. The program is designed for young adults ages 11-18, in school, after school and in community-based organizations. It is estimated that well over 6 million teens have participated in Select Media evidence-based programming since 1995.

Research reported in a landmark study, published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine shows that sex education classes that focus on encouraging children to remain abstinent can persuade a significant proportion to delay sexual activity. This could have major implications for U.S. efforts to protect young people against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. "I think we've written off abstinence-only education without looking closely at the nature of the evidence," said John B. Jemmott III, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who led the federally funded study. "Our study shows this could be one approach that could be used."

With new STD infections on the rise each year and teen pregnancy an on-going problem, educators and health professionals are even more focused on ensuring that teens have mastered critical decision-making skills that will lower risk behaviors and increase positive attitudes towards abstinence. Specifically, this curriculum advocates postponing sexual activity and emphasizes that abstinence is the only way to completely eliminate adolescents' risk for STDs, HIV, and pregnancy. With so little time in the day for teachers, youth leaders and health educators to reach youth on this topic, the best programs are the ones that can easily integrate with their site’s existing programming. The Promoting Health Among Teens! Abstinence-Only Intervention curriculum has eight hours of step-by-step instructions and highly interactive activities, divided into a two-day format (four modules each day), four-day format (two modules each day), or eight-day format (one module each day).

The kit includes a (1.) Facilitator’s Guide that includes the information about implementing the curriculum, the theory behind it, and evaluation of the curriculum with behavioral findings, curriculum teaching strategies and the format of the intervention modules; (2.) the Promoting Health Among Teens! Abstinence-Only Intervention curriculum with DVD support and (3.) optional activities with additional information about STDs and drugs, guidelines to managing problem behaviors, answers to commonly asked questions, and a glossary.

Research shows that the eight-hour curriculum was implemented in a small group setting with African American students in grades 6 and 7 on two Saturdays in four different urban public schools. In this random control trial, 662 African American participants between the ages of 10 and 15, were stratified by gender and age and randomly assigned to receive one of five curricula: an 8-hour abstinence-only intervention, an 8-hour safer-sex-only intervention, an 8- or 12-hour combined abstinence and safer-sex intervention, or an 8-hour health-promotion control group. The participants completed questionnaires before, immediately after and 3-, 6-, 12-, 18- and 24-months after the intervention. Of the original 662 participants,

  •     The abstinence only intervention significantly reduced recent sexual intercourse.
  •     Participants who received the abstinence-only intervention were less likely to report having

    sexual intercourse in all follow-up sessions than the control group or the safer sex only

  •     The abstinence only curriculum reduced the sexual initiation among participants.

The curriculum was developed by Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Ph.D., John Jemott, Ph.D. and Konstance McCaffree, PhD, CSE, renowned researchers and health professionals in the field of risk reduction "We believe that no other intervention programming offers such well-designed support for these topics. It isn’t easy to motivate people to modify their sexual behavior, even when that behavior puts them at risk. Hence, the model of human behavior that we use to understand sexual risk behavior for The Promoting Health Among Teens! Abstinence-Only Intervention draws upon social learning theories and the interventions we propose for changing that behavior reflect a cognitive-based approach."

This curriculum was developed, pilot-tested, implemented, and evaluated in a study funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). This curriculum was selected by the Office of Adolescent Health as an “Eligible” evidence-based teen pregnancy, HIV & STD intervention.

See for more information and product purchase.

Select Media Inc.
Select Media creates and disseminates materials effective in promoting positive health behaviors among communities at-risk. Curricula, films and media materials are based on extensive research and focus groups conducted by leading researchers and health professionals in the fields of behavioral health, communication, community and public health. In addition to creating and evaluating programs, Select Media provides companion training online and on site that covers implementation strategies, training issues, and the trainees' comfort level with topic.

For over twenty years, Select Media has pioneered culturally-targeted, award-winning, and quality, effective materials which are used by community groups, health departments, schools, government agencies, departments of education, youth groups, and clinics nationwide.

At Select Media we believe that young people can engage in a healthy dialogue about their sexual health without demeaning other values and methods. It is also our belief that abstinence is a viable choice if participants are given information, allowed to discuss, think about, and engage in fun activities that help build skills that are necessary and useful in practicing abstinence.

*Jemmott, J,B., Jemmott, L.S. & Fong, G.T. (2009). “Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months: A randomized control trial with young adolescents.” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 164(2):152-159.

Ann O’Connor
Marketing Director

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ann OConnor

Email >
Visit website