When preparing to have a discussion about abstinence education, it is helpful if you have all the facts. Despite the overwhelming popularity of abstinence programs, there is still much debate. Here are a few facts to consider.

Fact– Sexual activity at an early age comes with several adverse effects. For example, a teenage female who engages in sexual activity is far more likely to suffer infections associated with sexual activity as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Those who engage in sexual practice at an early age also suffer increased birth rates, increased odds of single parenthood, increased poverty and decreased adult happiness.

Fact– The majority of sexually active teens have regrets as they grow into adults. Nearly 60 percent of sexually active teens regret their sexual activities and wish they waited before becoming sexually active.

Fact– Teens who are sexually active are more likely to be depressed and attempt suicide. Depression is much more likely to occur in teens who are sexually active.

Fact– Programs that teach abstinence dramatically reduce children born out of wedlock. Young people who take the pledge of abstinence are 40 percent less likely to have an out of wedlock child. Even when factoring in socio-economic status, religion and race, these statistics still hold true.

Fact– Parents from all around the country overwhelmingly support the themes of abstinence programs. The polls don’t lie, they show that nearly 80 percent of parents want their children to be taught that sexual activity should wait until they are married.

When discussing abstinence programs, arm yourself with the facts.