The Netflix series Dear White People shows how sexual decisionmaking can be influenced by race, status, and the power dynamics within a relationship. Public health programs and policies could be better tailored to account for this complexity.
If this issue were to be decided on the basis of public health benefits, the outcome would be clear: Condoms indisputably prevent both unintended pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, writes Chloe Bird.
A new field called implementation science addresses the issue of how to best support providers to take up new, research-proven treatments and implement them well. A RAND study will test how well Boys & Girls Clubs carry out a program proven to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, with and without an intervention called Getting To Outcomes.
Essentially, the available research suggests that teaching abstinence alone to teenagers does not work — they are no more likely to delay the start of sexual activity than other teenagers. But research has not been so clear regarding virginity pledges specifically, writes Steven Martino.