Teens are constantly bombarded with sexually explicit messages in the media. Television shows such as The Real World on MTV and Dawson's Creek regularly feature premarital sex and graphic sexual dialogue, and for the past two years, major networks have aired Victoria Secret's lingerie fashion show during prime time. But surprisingly, despite the media's targeting young audiences with sex-saturated shows, teens prefer the abstinence message. Public opinion polls show that teens value abstinence highly. Nearly all (93 percent) of teenagers believe that teens should be given a strong message from society to abstain from sex until at least after high school. A 2000 poll found that 64 percent of teen girls surveyed said sexual activity is not acceptable for high-school age adolescents, even if precautions are taken to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, teens who have not abstained often regret being sexually active. In 2000, 63 percent of sexually active teens said they wish they had waited longer to become sexually active. (Author abstract)
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Abstinence Until Marriage: The Best Message For Teens.