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Research & Citations

Youth who adopt the encouraged behavior of success sequencing (graduate, get a full-time job, and wait until 21 and married to have children) lower their risk of adult poverty to 2%.

SOURCE: Haskins, R., Sawhill, I. (2009). Creating an Opportunity Society. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.


Regarding poverty, children living with never married mothers are 143% more likely to be poor than those living with married parents.

SOURCE: Department of Health and Human Services (2014). Welfare Indicators and Risk factors: 13th report to Congress, 2014. P.1-2, iii-2, 13, 14.


Research shows that teens who wait to have sex increase their chances for a happier marriage, healthier future family, a life of personal responsibility, and productive citizenship. The research also reveals that when teens have sex, besides the risk of pregnancy and STD’s, the following negative life outcomes are more likely to occur, often persisting into adulthood:

  • Less academic achievement (not necessarily linked to pregnancy) Kagesten, A., Blum, R (2015, Apriil) Characteristics of youth who report early sexual experiences in Sweden. Archives of Sexual Behavior.44:679-694
  • Decreased general physical and psychological health, including depression. Sandfort, T., Orr, M., Hirsch, J., Santelli, J. (2008) Long-Term Health Correlates of Timing of Sexual Debut: Results From a National US Study American Journal of Public Health. 98:155-161
  • More involvement in other risk behaviors such as smoking, drinking and drugs. Kastborn, A., Sydsjo, G., Bladh, M., Preibe, G., Svedin, C. (2015, May 4). Sexual debut before the age of 14 leads to poorer psychosocial health and risky behavior later in life. Acta Paediatrica 104:91-100.
  • More likely to participate in anti-social or delinquent behavior. Armour, S., Haynie, D. (2007) Adolescent Sexual Debut and Later Delinquency. J Youth Adolescence 36: 141-152.
  • Less likely to exercise self efficacy and self regulation. Kastborn, A., Sydsjo, G., Bladh, M., Preibe, G., Svedin, C. (2015, May 4). Sexual debut before the age of 14 leads to poorer psychosocial health and risky behavior later in life. Acta Paediatrica 104:91-100.
  • Less financial net worth and more likely to live in poverty. Scott, M., Wildsmith, E., Welti, K., Ryan, S., Schelar, E., Steward-Streng, N. (2011). Risky Adolescent Sexual Behaviors and Reproductive Health in Young Adulthood. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 43(2):110-118
  • National YRBS Survey 2015 results show only 30.1% of youth are currently sexually active and 41.2 who had ever had sexual intercourse. These students need support and encouragement and protective factors in place to help them as they leave high school for college or full-time work.
  • Recent research by the CDC confirms that the longer a teen waits to have sex, the more likely s/he is to use contraception if s/he becomes sexually active. Therefore, the SRA message is invaluable both for the student who remains abstinent throughout high school or until marriage – as well as for the student who delays initiation longer than s/he would have without the encouragement from the SRA programs.

SOURCE: Martinez G et al., Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, 2006-2010, Vital and Health Statistics, (2011). Series 23, No. 31, Accessessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23031.pdf


The longer a person delays sex, the less his or her risk for pregnancy and STDs and the fewer lifetime partners that person will have.

SOURCE: Pettifor, A., O’Brien, K., et al. (2009) Early coital debut & associated HIV risk factors among young women and men in South Africa. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2009, 35(2)74-82.


There are currently 23 peer-reviewed studies showing that students in SRA classes are: a) more likely to delay sexual initiation, and b) if sexually active, more likely to discontinue or decrease sexual activity and no less likely to use a condom.

SOURCE: US Department of Health and Human Services & the Administration for Children and Families (2007, May). Review of Comprehensive Sex Education Curricula.


A recent Barna survey revealed that about 40% of teens say that sex education makes them feel pressured to have sex, contradicting the claim by “comprehensive” sex education advocates that they prioritize “waiting”.

SOURCE: Barna Group (2015). Teens speak out. Ventura:Author