Teen Report: Abstinence

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A teen website reports four in 10 young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20. It's an alarming statistic that's forcing schools to take another approach: teaching abstinence.

Students at North Florida Christian School are learning more than the three Rs. These teens are enrolled in a class that teaches safe sex and abstinence.

Ben Telfair, a student, says, "I think it's important to be abstinent, one, not only because of the problem with AIDS and pregnancy before marriage, but also you just don't want to answer to something that you shouldn't have to answer to and you just don't want to have the question ‘what if?’ "

That question is something teacher Janell Penny hopes her students never have to learn from personal experience.

Janell says, "I find that when we discuss this issue that we often times are able to answer questions in a group form that kids would not ask normally, and so discussing it in class and learning about it allows to safely ask questions."

Penny believes teaching only about abstinence is not effective, but speaking about every aspect of teens' lives is the most promising way to limit the number of sexually active teens, and so far the students are responding to the lecture.

Student Stephanie Peacock says, "I believe it's a big mistake to do it before you're married, but also if you save it it's really going to be worth it."

Students say it's a worthy decision that's both morally and spiritually sound. Many people say teens should remain abstinent, but should also have access to contraception to prevent pregnancy and STDs.