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Program Assessment


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Abstinence Education

The Abstinence Education program educates young people about postponing sexual activity until marriage. It accomplishes this by creating a supportive environment within communities, fostering mentoring relationships, providing educational classes, and implementing public education campaigns.


What This Rating Means


This rating describes a program that needs to set more ambitious goals, achieve better results, improve accountability or strengthen its management practices.
  • The program addresses an existing problem: 61.6% of high school teens report having had sexual intercourse and the resulting negative health and social consequences include sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. Abstinence Education is the only Federal program with the sole purpose of promoting abstinence until marriage.
  • The program has a set of performance measures to assess its progress in meeting its mission. Long-term measures use national level data, which capture rates of sexual intercourse among high school students and rates of out-of-wedlock births. Annual measures use program level data to capture the proportion of youths who are abstinent after participating in the program.
  • While more research is needed in this area, a growing body of research shows that abstinence education helps teens delay sexual activity by creating awareness about the negative consequences of teen sex. For example, program participants are more supportive of abstinence and are more aware of the possible consequences of teen sex than their counterparts who did not participate in the program.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Establishing baselines for the program-specific annual measures and the efficiency measure.
  • Implementing changes in data collection process to gather program-specific data on rates of abstinence pre and post program participation, number of youths served, and hours of intervention provided.
  • Initiating a rigorous, experimental evaluation of the community-based discretionary grant program. It will also establish a plan to disseminate research and best practices findings among grantees.

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