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Bruce Cook – President & Founder of Choosing the Best
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Atlanta, March 29, 2012 — A just released peer-reviewed, published study found that Choosing the Best, an abstinence-centered sex education curriculum, successfully reduces the initiation of teen sex. The study, “Impact of Choosing the Best Program in Communities Committed to Abstinence Education” by Lisa Lieberman, Ph.D., was published in the March 21 edition of SAGE Open.

The research, which utilized a rigorous, randomized, controlled study design, evaluated the Choosing the Best high school curriculum among nearly 1,200 9th grade students.  The results indicated that students who received Choosing the Best were 1.5 times more likely to delay the onset of sexual behavior than students in the control group who did not receive the program, at the end of the school year.

According to Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), "This rigorous study adds an exclamation point to the statement, 'abstinence works'!  Schools and policy-makers should pay close attention to these encouraging results because they emphasize the fact that students are best served when they receive a Sexual Risk Avoidance *(SRA) abstinence program - a program in which they receive all the information they need to achieve optimal sexual health outcomes."

Choosing the Best President and CEO Bruce Cook comments, This study has the distinctive of being an authentic field study, showing significant decreases in the initiation of teen sex in an actual school setting, so these are realistic results. And because this study involved a diverse student base, we expect these results can be relevant for a wide-range of communities that desire abstinence education.”A recent national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that the overwhelming majority of parents—70%—are opposed to their adolescent having pre-marital sex.[i]  Another national survey found that 90% of adults and 93% of teens believe teens should be given a strong message about abstinence from society.[ii]

Additional findings were that 1) the more lessons a student received, whether in the CTB group or in the control, the less likely that student was to initiate sex and 2) significant behavioral decreases in teen sex were not maintained at the 12-month follow up.  According to Cook, These findings highlight the urgency of continued reinforcement of a strong abstinence message throughout the critical adolescent years, through multiple and consecutive programs across grades.”

Choosing the Best is a school-based, abstinence-centered curriculum with programs for grades 6 through 12. These latest findings are consistent with earlier studies on a Choosing the Best middle school program, which was found to reduce the initiation of teen sex by 47% versus the control.  For more information, visit
Download the study here.

[i]National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents:  Attitudes and Opinions about Sex and Abstinence.  Abt Associates.  Prepared for the Family and Youth Services Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. February 26, 2009.