VIRGIN TEENS HAVE SAME STD RATE



D

Dr. Jai Maharaj

Guest
Virgin teens 'have same STD rate'

BBC Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Young Americans who pledge to remain virgins until they

diseases as those who do not, a new study says.

fewer partners and get married earlier.

But they are much less likely to use condoms, the
research found.

[Caption] The Bush administration backs the abstinence
movement

Bearman told the AP news agency.

'Just say no'

The research, which is being presented at the National

12,000 adolescents.

The data was gathered from young people aged 12 to 18 who
were questioned again six years later.

According to the study, the STD rates were:

o Whites who pledged virginity 2.8% - did not 3.5% o
Blacks: pledgers 18.1% - non-pledgers 20.3% o Asians:
pledgers 10.5% - non-pledgers 5.6% o Hispanics: pledgers
6.7% - non-pledgers 8.6%

The study's authors say that from a statistical point of
view, the rates are the same for both groups.

"The message is really simple: 'Just say no' may work in the
short-term but doesn't work in the long-term," Peter Bearman
of Columbia University's Department of Sociology said.

Critics of abstinence-only education said the findings

"It's a tragedy if we withhold from these kids
information about how not to get STDs or not to get
pregnant," Dorothy Mann, of the Family Planning Council,
told the Associated Press.

But promoters of abstinence argue that telling young people
about condoms and other forms of contraception

diseases.

US President George W Bush has massively increased

during his term in office.

Christian abstinence organisation True Love Waits says it
has more than one million card-carrying young members.

On 13 February, thousands of American teenagers

abstinence.

More at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3546007.stm

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Forwarded messages:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3546007.stm

Comments
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409834, US Virgin teens 'have same STD rate'

Posted by emad aisat sana on Tue Mar-09-04 10:58 AM

Just say no to George, kids....stuff the abstinence

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409839, boy Asians are really getting screwed

Posted by Magic Rat on Tue Mar-09-04 11:00 AM

Pardon the pun. Their rate is way off the charts. 10.5%
among virgins and 5.6% against non-virgins.

Seems kinda odd to me.

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409853, Memory plays strange tricks after 6 years'
abstinence....

Posted by emad aisat sana on Tue Mar-09-04 11:04 AM

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409860, Likely a very small sample and high variance.....

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 11:06 AM

probably if you put a confidence interval around those
rates, they'd be the same as the rest.

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410406, The numbers

Posted by oldcoot on Tue Mar-09-04 02:45 PM

It would be nice to know how many members of each racial
category participated in the study. It also would be nice to
know more about the backgrounds of the participants in this
study. Did all of the kids who participated in this study
live urban areas? How many of these kids were immigrants and
or had parents who were immigrants? I would like to know
what, if any, role culture played in this study.

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409847, Abstinence Only Makes Teens Ignorant

Posted by Beetwasher on Tue Mar-09-04 11:02 AM

but do anyway and are uneducated about protecting themselves
since they ONLY learned abstinence...That's why the numbers
are the way they are...

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409904, I think it goes beyond ignorance.

Posted by salin on Tue Mar-09-04 11:25 AM

The message of abstinence also include heavy doses of shame
and guilt. Thus there is the psychological barrier... that
even thinking about protection (and they would have to live
in a vacuum not to know that there is such a thing as
protection)... is to mean one is thinking

Thus - it is easier to disassociate the thoughts in the lead
up (that is - attempt to pretend one isn't having those
feelings and that one isn't going to act on them...) and
then *boom* not have protection in the moment, than it is to
recognize that they are about to break the "vow" and to
prepare for that event.

This was alive and well for girls for eons. Good girls

asking about protection, because that sendss the message
that they are not good girls. In the end many of those 'good
girls' ended up being sent a way to 'homes for unwed
mothers' or in shotgun early marriages.

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409990, Exactly and Also

Posted by Beetwasher on Tue Mar-09-04 12:04 PM

The same institutions that are unrealistically teaching ONLY
abstinence and instilling shame and guilt about

teaching young women the proper coping and interpersonal
skills for dealing w/ the social pressures to have

fine, as long as she is also taught the proper skills and
also has access to info about STD prevention and birth
control, just in case...I have no problems w/ teaching
abstinence as long as it's part of a bigger picture and done
properly...Instead, many of these abstinence only programs
are essentially telling young women "just say no!" without
anything else, or telling them to pray for guidance, and
that just doesn't work...

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410364, exactly!

Posted by SemperEadem on Tue Mar-09-04 02:25 PM

"But promoters of abstinence argue that telling young people
about condoms and other forms of contraception

diseases. "

Telling teens about contraception does not increase

begin with, they just didn't admit it. Education only
increases their attention to make sure that if they are
going to be active, they take the proper precautions.

ignoring it because of Puritanical FEAR and IGNORANCE does
not make it go away. Guiding the teen in how to manage their
feelings and whatnot is far more constructive than
pretending (and insisting in the moment) that those feelings
don't exist; if all you've got to offer is "don't think
about it", then teen std and pregnancies amongst those who
vowed to abstain are going to skyrocket because they're too
ignorant of the facts of their bodies to know the correct
way to proceed.

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409849, I'm soooo confused....

Posted by BlueEyedSon on Tue Mar-09-04 11:03 AM

:crazy:

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Posted by enki23 on Tue Mar-09-04 11:05 AM

they are "pledged virgins." not all of them, obviously, are
*actual* virgins.

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409857, ROTFLMAO! (see link)

Posted by BlueEyedSon on Tue Mar-09-04 11:06 AM

http://www.technicalvirgin.com/

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Posted by veganwitch on Tue Mar-09-04 11:07 AM

oral for guys and girls, manual stimulation can spread
warts, herpes. not washing hands or toys before and after,
not using barriers - gloves, dams (saran wrap if you in a
fix) can spread infections.

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409893, Just remembered: the cat bit my son Joe's penis
when he was

Posted by emad aisat sana on Tue Mar-09-04 11:19 AM

about 14 and Joe had to have tetanus shot, anti NSU-
medication AND a circumcision.....Feline genital herpes is
tramsittable apparently....

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410100, whoa -- why did they have to circ him??

Posted by kath on Tue Mar-09-04 12:46 PM

That seems a bit much, IMHO (as an MD) -- unless the
foreskin was infected, very swollen, etc. (The tetanus shot,
etc I can see)

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410615, I just have to ask

Posted by NickB79 on Tue Mar-09-04 03:52 PM

Why was your son's penis exposed to the cat in the first
place where it could be bitten? Damn, I can only imagine how
much all that would have hurt though.

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409897, saying one thing doing another can also lead to STD

Posted by havocmom on Tue Mar-09-04 11:22 AM

standing up for abstinance in public to get praise then
being human in private is a common source evidently.

Sadly there is a big push to deny acurate and realistic

that kids are active and kids in denial about the nature of
things, all clamoring to be vocal and visiable about
chastity is a recipe for disaster.

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409873, Underwear, Toilet Seats, Watching South Park,
Listening to Howard Stern

Posted by 0007 on Tue Mar-09-04 11:11 AM

are just a few. But toilet paper is probably the biggest
piece of evident, 'don't 'ya think? :hurts:

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Posted by slinkerwink on Tue Mar-09-04 12:25 PM

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410061, I guess that's the legacy of the Clinton Presidency

Posted by BlueEyedSon on Tue Mar-09-04 12:30 PM

:)

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410109, That's right , one more thing that can be blamed
on the evil

Posted by kath on Tue Mar-09-04 12:49 PM

Clinton Penis of Doom !! (aka The Clenis) :)

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Posted by BlueEyedSon on Tue Mar-09-04 11:10 AM

Noyce!

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409901, Oooh boy.

Posted by truthbetold on Tue Mar-09-04 11:24 AM

I better not let my mom read this, or she'll be dragging me
off for a pap smear!

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410095, are you nuts? you should be dragging youself off for
a pap smear

Posted by donsu on Tue Mar-09-04 12:43 PM

don't you care about your own health?

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409903, Agenda Pushing

Posted by BOHICA04 on Tue Mar-09-04 11:24 AM

The study's authors say that from a statistical point of
view, the rates are the same for both groups.

Do I see some bias here? - the difference for Whites/African
Americans/Hispanics is 25% - 12.1% - 28.3% on the positive
side, which is good. Such a difference in any medical study
would make the significant threshold. Wonder about that 40%
greater in the Asian population ... hmmmmm

SO the message of abstinence doesn't work well among all, it
appears to work well for some.

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409917, Just like promises to obey the Golden Rule, ...

Posted by damnraddem on Tue Mar-09-04 11:29 AM

promises to 'abstain' have little effect on outcomes. So
much for 'faith-based' interventions.

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409928, Lies and damn lies

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 11:34 AM

So, in three out of four groups studied, the STD rate is
substantially lower for pledgers, yet that is not what the
"analysis" said.

1984 here we come.

For whites -- A 25% increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

For Blacks -- A 12% increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

For Hispanics -- A 28% increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

Only Asians showed more STDs in the pledged population.

Now, something that is not apparent in the article. What are
they counting as STDs? Oral Herpes is prevalent in the U.S.
population. Do they count that?

Considering about one in five Blacks in the study have
STDs -- a horrifying reality -- I support cutting down
that number.

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410121, Dpends on the statistical anaylsis -- depending on
sample size, etc

Posted by kath on Tue Mar-09-04 12:52 PM

what looks like a difference may not be a "statistically
significant" difference

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410133, The base sample was 12,000

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 12:56 PM

That's a lot more than you ever see for the surveys involved
in the presidential race.

A more rational mind than those who did the survey might
conclude that more study is warranted to analyze the gaps.
But that wouldn't fit the agenda.

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410687, Still not enough, broken up into 4 groups...

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 04:16 PM

To get statistical signifance, that is, to be able to
rule out chance at the 5% level, here's what you need for
each group:

Whites: 8,198 Blacks: 6,281 Asians: 430 Hispanics: 2,924

That's from this site:

http://calculators.stat.ucla.edu/powercalc/binomial/case-
control/b-cas...

And what you do is plug in first the % in the control group,
then the ratio of the two groups, put in 5% for the sig
level and .8 for the power - those are standard - be
generous & call this a 1-sided test, and there you go!

Now if you want to say, for example, that black pledgers
have a higher rate than white pledgers, you need only 54
subjects to rule out chance with the observed 6.5 times
difference.

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411183, So what is the point of the survey?

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 07:48 PM

After all, they surveyed 12,000 teens and found differences
of up to 28%, but that's not statistically valid?

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411209, Very good question....

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 08:04 PM

could be they were hoping for higher differences, then are
trying to run with what they've got, which isn't much.
Shoulda run a pilot, so they could have had some idea of
what the differences would be in advance, so they could get
a bigger sample. Looks like about double would do it. The
other tactic would be not to split by ethnicity, but maybe
there's no difference that way, either. This is realy hard
to comment much on without the article, though - looks like
it was a conference presentation rather than an article.
411228, They found differences

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 08:20 PM

They just discounted them, rather than analyzing them.

Where I come from, 28% is a pretty darn big difference.

And if 12,000 isn't a statistically valid sampling, then how
are we to accept the political polling data that uses vastly
smaller numbers?

Ultimately, it seems they allowed their own views to color
the results.

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411294, I see your point,

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 09:11 PM

and where I come from 28% ain't much, where I come from is
epidemiology, where we're looking for association that are
more often biological than behavioral - so I honestly don't
know whether this difference should be considered small.

Regarding polls, those are usually set up so they have an
error, a confidence limit, of +/- 3%. They can do it with
much smaller numbers because there're several things that go
into a sample size calculation - not only the size of the
effect you're looking at, but how common the outcome is in
your base population. Look at the difference is sample size
requirements for whites as compared to blacks in this study,
for example. The whites need the bigger sample because the
outcome is less common.

It's hard to tell the degree to which they discounted the
results rather than analyzing, especially from a news
report. Scientists tend to be conservative, as you know, and
if they can't discount chance, then they're going to be very
conservative. I would guess that the kind of people who do
this sort of study were hoping to find a positive result -
that they didn't speaks well for their objectivity if that
was the case. You seem to feel they were hoping for a result
of no association, in which case I don't envy them because
that's logically much more difficult to prove.

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411320, "Where I come from,

Posted by dai on Tue Mar-09-04 09:31 PM

28% is a pretty darn big difference."

This is a very foolish comment. A large difference in
percentage may or may not be a large difference in actual
numbers, especially dealing with rare events. Without more
information one cannot conclude whether or not a large
difference in percentage reflects a large actual difference.

Consider this hypothetical study:

You have a sample of, say, 100 "pledgers" and 100 "non-
pledgers". 2 pledgers have an STD compared to 3 non-
pledgers.

Oh my god, 50% difference!

This underscores the importance of statistical significance,
which can better illustrate actual differences than
reporting percentages alone...no matter where you come from.

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411333, The sample size was 12,000 people

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 09:37 PM

That's a pretty large sample and several times over
what they use for presidential surveys. That's 60 times
your example.

So, there are two possibilities. Either the survey was
poorly done and didn't have enough pledges to really count.
In which case, the whole thing is bogus and we are all
wasting our time. Or it did have enough pledges, in which
case the difference is significant and bears further
investigation.

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411390, You cannot compare to presidential

Posted by dai on Tue Mar-09-04 10:20 PM

surveys, because (1) these do not measure events such as
disease and (2) these do not compare rates between two
populations. It is a very different type of "study" and, as
such, requires different sample sizes.

My point was that large percentages do not always mean large
differences, please tell me you at least understand this
because your original claim that 28% is a big difference is
quite absurd.

What you are missing is the effect of similar rates, not
sample size. Another example, with a sample size of 12,000:

Out of 12,000 people 2 "pledgers" and 3 "non-pledgers"
have STDs...

again, a 50% difference but the sample size is 60
times larger.

But we can even use the actual rates...since we don't know
the racial divisions I will use the rates for whites to
describe everyone (these are probably the most accurate):

Assuming even divisions:

168 "pledgers" with STDs

210 "non-pledgers" with STDs

Out of 12,000 is this really a big difference? Not enough to
discount chance.

You've missed the third and most likely possibility,
which reflects a lack of statistical understanding on
your part. The most likely conclusion is that there is no
difference between the two groups and the difference you
see is the result of chance, and has nothing to do with
pledging at all.

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411402, I grasp all the stats bit here and none of us has
the needed info

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 10:27 PM

Of course, "large percentages do not always mean large
differences." But based on the sample size, the survey was
quite large.

Let me ask you a question, if 12,000 is statistically
inaccurate, then why was this survey done in the first
place?

And, as for your example, one of the subgroups was white
teens. I think it is safe to say that is the largest group
assuming they kept even vaguely close to American
demographics.

Assuming that then, either there weren't enough pledges to
make this valid, in which case the whole thing is useless.
Or there were, in which case the variance is valid.

Actually, the most likely possibility in my opinion is that
the survey was flawed from the beginning.

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411451, response

Posted by dai on Tue Mar-09-04 11:00 PM

Of course, "large percentages do not always mean large
differences." But based on the sample size, the survey was
quite large.

Once again, different types of studies require different
sample sizes. I work with clinical trials, where our sample
sizes are up to a thousand times smaller, but our subjects
are carefully matched to remove the effect of chance and we
can achieve statistical significance.

Let me ask you a question, if 12,000 is statistically
inaccurate, then why was this survey done in the first
place?

Not statistically inaccurate, statistically insignificant.
Which means either (1) the difference is very small and they
don't have enough people in their sample to show a
difference, or (2) there is no difference in the actual
population.

The study was done to determine if there was a difference
between "pleding" and "non-pledging" populations. Concluding
no difference is almost impossible, because one can always
demand a larger sample size (see the two possibilities in
the above paragraph). Concluding that there is a difference
is much easier, but from this study
- the authors cannot make this claim. Snow already stated
this much better. (O/T question for Snow, did you take
your handle from Dr. John Snow?)

Assuming that then, either there weren't enough pledges to
make this valid, in which case the whole thing is useless.
Or there were, in which case the variance is valid.

It is not useless, from the study we know that we cannot
conclude a difference between "pledging" and "non- pledging"
populations. There aren't enough subjects to show a
difference, but there may be actually be no difference, so
the study is not invalid simply for not achieving
significance.

Actually, the most likely possibility in my opinion is that
the survey was flawed from the beginning.

Well then, by all means design your own study and get a
grant...best of luck to you.

The flaw I see is not one of sample size, but rather the
effects of confounding. Then again, I don't deal with
observational studies - this may be the best feasible study
since trials are probably unreasonable.

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411465, Ongoing

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 11:10 PM

I think this study actually needs to be vastly more complex
than they tried to make it. I think there are many factors
at work here that would have to be sampled for.

OK, again, if they "don't have enough people in their sample
to show a difference," why would they do the survey?

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411579, ongoing

Posted by dai on Tue Mar-09-04 11:56 PM

I think this study actually needs to be vastly more complex
than they tried to make it. I think there are many factors
at work here that would have to be sampled for.

Generally, randomizing your sample groups corrects
confounding, especially with large samples. However, this
was an observational study and as such the investigators did
not have much control over it. While you are correct that
there are many factors at work, controlling for them may not
be feasible. People are, after all, not lab rats.

OK, again, if they "don't have enough people in their sample
to show a difference," why would they do the survey?

To determine if there was a difference in terms of rate of
STD between this nation's population of "pledging" youths
and "non-pledging" youths, and the degree of that
difference. These are obiously unkown, so they sampled for
it, as is standard practice.

If the difference in rates for the population was large,
this sample size would have been more than adequate.
However, the difference in rates is small enough that even
with a large sample (although I suspect the minority samples
are much smaller) we cannot tell with certainty which
population has a greater rate. In other words, taking the
samples over and over again, you would see a lesser rate in
the "pledging" sample fewer than 95% of the time.

But, we have a fairly good idea of what the rates are for
the population...this comes in an interval because every
sample will be different. The conclusion is that either
population could have a higher rate, because the rates are
so close that the intervals overlap.

Colloquially, one could say that pledging makes no
difference and that is how I interpret the study, but "no
difference" is basically impossible to conclude
statistically.

Perhaps this is not the result you want to hear, but this is
the way research works.

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410478, could there be a biological reason for the high rate
of STDs in blacks

Posted by cryofan on Tue Mar-09-04 03:11 PM

WHy could there not be a bioogical reason for behavior? It
seems reasonable to me....

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411084, Nope. This is well-known to STD control officers,

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 06:49 PM

one of whom I helped with some mapping of rates a few years
ago. STD rates come from lab reports. If your doc doesn't
want your std reported, he/she treats you without sending in
a lab sample. Your doc is also required by law to report,
but in fact in most places the docs never report STD's; it's
the labs. However, if you're poor, and we can agree that
blacks are at higher risk of being poor than whites, then
you get your medical care (during the Clinton years, anyway)
from public clinics, where the docs don't know you and don't
give a whoop about an std on your records - so they send the
swab/culture to the labs, and it gets reported. End result,
poor neighborhoods have much higher rates of reported STD
than other neighborhoods. DO they have higher actual rates?
Very difficult to find that out.

Re this study, it's hard to say whether reporting or
diagnostic bias is what's going on. How were these kids
diagnosed, was it all by the same clinic, are the kids of
similar social class and access to care, and so on.

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 06:49 PM

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410007, Doubts rising over faith-based virginity

Posted by Voltaire99 on Tue Mar-09-04 12:10 PM

It's so unfair! All those prayers, and you're still
not a virgin!

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410094, Note that this story comes from the BBC

Posted by kath on Tue Mar-09-04 12:43 PM

Any bets as to whether PravdaUSA will cover it??

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410110, If they do

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 12:49 PM

I hope they do a better job and actually point out the
reality of the stats, not the spin.

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410139, Are you saying that you support "Abstinence Only"
education, which

Posted by kath on Tue Mar-09-04 12:57 PM

withholds important information from kids?? Multiple studies
have shown that it is not effective.

Yeah, it's good to tell kids to wait before they start

protect themselves from STDs and pregnancy.

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410151, No, I support both

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 01:04 PM

The only reason for abstinence-only education is because
parents don't trust teachers to teach both fairly.

My point about this survey is that it does indeed indicate
that abstinence-only education works in three out of four
populations.

Assuming the survey generally reflected the American
demographic, then literally thousands of white students
responded. And the number of those who had pledged getting
STDs was a lot lower than those who did not.

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410417, Where does it say that those surveyed

Posted by GinaMaria on Tue Mar-09-04 02:50 PM

received abstinence only education? It said they took a
pledge to abstain but didn't indicate what they had been
taught before or after the pledge. The article starts a new
topic when it discusses abstinence only vs. more

topics together. On closer inspection, the two subjects look
like they should have been two different articles. Do you
have another link to the research?

I ask because of your statement

My point about this survey is that it does indeed indicate
that abstinence-only education works in three out of four
populations.

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410434, You might be right

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 02:56 PM

I inferred lacking the raw data. So you might be
entirely correct.

Any way you slice it, this study calls out for the raw data
and follow-up analysis. But clearly, pledgers have a lower
chance of STD. So, then the question is whether that is
cause or effect.

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410531, If there's no other source then

Posted by GinaMaria on Tue Mar-09-04 03:25 PM

I am right. No might about it. There is nothing in this
article that says the pledgers received abstinence only ed.

Their rates are higher than most people would hope for from
people who pledged abstinence. They are slightly

Yes, the cause and effect piece is missing. Also missing are
definitions of abstinence. What some people mean by the word
may not be what other people mean by the word.

disease? What are they counting/not counting?

There's not enough information to make assertions like
yours.

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410633, Excellent Points

Posted by Beetwasher on Tue Mar-09-04 03:57 PM

I'm almost certain that I will be seeing the actual study
this article was based on at some point as it pertains to my
work. Should make for interesting reading...

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410635, Don't use adverbs....

Posted by BOHICA04 on Tue Mar-09-04 03:59 PM

in describing the results. It induces bias.

The rates of STDs are higher for those that did not pledged
abstinence in 3 of 4 populations. According to their own
stats (cutting and pasting credit to Muddle):

For whites -- A 25% increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

For Blacks -- A 12% increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

For Hispanics -- A 28% increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

Is 12% slight? 25%? 28%?

If in a clinical test, a treatment or protocol had this
level success over another it would be deem significant.

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411097, See my little post on sample size up above

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 06:56 PM

These in all likelihood close enough rates that you can't
rule out chance as a factor.

When preparing a grant proposal for the feds (NIH) and
hypothesizing that a risk factor is related to some
outcome, for the feds to be interested you need to be able
to demonstrate a doubling in effect. These differences are,
as you say,

For whites -- A 1.25 increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

For Blacks -- A 1.12 increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge.

For Hispanics -- A 1.28 increase in STDs for those who did
not pledge

In the field relating exposures to diseases, that's weak.
For smoking and lung cancer, the association is around
20. For cervical cancer and wart virus, the association is
around 105. So these are very weak associations, IMHO.

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411163, You are correct

Posted by daleo on Tue Mar-09-04 07:37 PM

Epidemiologists don't generally get too excited by relative
risks on this order, particularly from observational data
with lots of scope for confounding.

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411222, Slowly calculatingly accurately

Posted by GinaMaria on Tue Mar-09-04 08:13 PM

Before handing tips on preventing biased posts you might
want to reconsider posting another's math work especially
when those numbers have been disputed, no link was provided
for the numbers and no method of calculation provided. Just
a thought, since you are concerned with bias in posts. False
numbers don't make your point.

So significant enough to change treatment? Only if I had a
rare disease. As far as changing disease
prevention/avoidance no thanks. Not significant enough.
Especially not significant given the lack of information in
this article.

Were those who pledged vs. not pledged chosen by the study
group? ie: You will be in the pledge group, go take your
pledge now. Were the pledgers internally motivated to be
part of the pledge group? ie:something they chose. Along
with a lot of other missing information from this study.

I will repeat, and I don't think I'm alone, how surprised I
was that the pledge group had as high a rate of STDs as the
non pledge group.

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411233, But it didn't have the rate

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 08:23 PM

They just said "statistically the same" which is not the
same.

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411246, let me rephrase/I didn't type what I meant to say

Posted by GinaMaria on Tue Mar-09-04 08:32 PM

I will repeat, and I don't think I'm alone, how surprised I
was that the pledge group had as high a percentage of STDs
as they did.

I expected their numbers to be a lot lower than they were,
which is why I question how they determined the pledge group
vs. non pledge group.

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411249, Fair enough

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 08:34 PM

I get the feeling that if you had done this survey I might
actually believe the results. 411256, I doubt that

Posted by GinaMaria on Tue Mar-09-04 08:45 PM

but that's a discussion for another time and another thread.

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411301, Now that the statisticians

Posted by BOHICA04 on Tue Mar-09-04 09:17 PM

have weighed in - I see that the difference is nothing to
get excited about.

But in my defense - I did the math in post 14 - with the
same results as Muddle. So the questions now are: Is this
study's result repeatable? And, how big a sample will be
necessary to show conclusively if there is a correlation
between pledge, non-pledge & STDs

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411317, I would also like to see the study questions

Posted by Muddleoftheroad on Tue Mar-09-04 09:29 PM

Also, what do they count as an STD? Does oral herpes count?

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411358, Yeah, I would sure hope they asked those questions,

Posted by Snow on Tue Mar-09-04 09:54 PM

and the way that they ascertained STD is a major question.
Did they examine the kids every few months, or what?

But to answer the sample size question, look at the numbers
from my post up above. It appears they need to roughly
double the sample size to be able to answer the question of
whether chance plays a role (ie, achieve 'statistical
significance' (I really don't like that term
- sounds a lot more important than it really is)).

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411352, Good questions:

Posted by dai on Tue Mar-09-04 09:48 PM

These ones:

Were those who pledged vs. not pledged chosen by the study
group? ie: You will be in the pledge group, go take your
pledge now. Were the pledgers internally motivated to be
part of the pledge group? ie:something they chose.

I seriously doubt this study could have been a randomized
trial. Randomizing a diet or vitamin treatment is plausible,
but a choice of this magnitude doesn't seem realistic for
one to accept on chance. Far more likely, the investigators
enrolled and observed participants who made the choice on
their own (or their parents did).

So even if there were a correlation, I doubt you could
conclude any causality as the "pledgers" would differ from
the "non-pledgers" on so many other confounding
characteristics.

Like you, I was suprised at how close the rates were, and
expected the "pledge" group to be significantly lower. Even
if this were the case, however, I would not attribute it to
the pledge itself but rather other background qualities
which would influence one to take such a pledge in the
first place.

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teenagers horny?

Posted by R Hickey on Tue Mar-09-04 01:20 PM

The whole thing is probably just a sampling error, and
the study should be re-done. But if this Asian thing is
not a statistical annomaly, then we have to look for some
other cause.

When Asian teens tell whoppers to inquisitive authority
figures about their aspirations to longterm chaseness,

Asians?

Perhaps schools should be teaching abstance to certain
minority groups, while handing out condoms and instructions
to others.'

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410415, the headline is rather insufficient, I'd say

Posted by MisterP on Tue Mar-09-04 02:49 PM

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410679, I analyzed this with some artificial data,

Posted by daleo on Tue Mar-09-04 04:14 PM

and it does miss statistical significance with a simple chi-
square test in SPSS. Since they didn't give actual numbers,
I made a few simplifying assumptions:

- equal numbers of pledgers and non-pledgers in each group
(6000 pledgers, 6000 non-pledgers)

- make up of the sample approximating U.S. population (70%
White, 15% Black, 5% Asian, 10% Hispanic)

- apply pcts of std by group, as in the article.

The p-value for the entire population was .09 (Pearson
chi-square).

So, the results don't appear spun to me.

Feel free to check this yourself. I may have made a mistake.

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of forwarded messages

> Virgin teens 'have same STD rate'
>
> BBC Tuesday, March 9, 2004
>
> Young Americans who pledge to remain virgins until they

> diseases as those who do not, a new study says.
>

> fewer partners and get married earlier.
>
> But they are much less likely to use condoms, the
> research found.
>
> [Caption] The Bush administration backs the abstinence
> movement
>

> Bearman told the AP news agency.
>
> 'Just say no'
>
> The research, which is being presented at the National

> 12,000 adolescents.
>
> The data was gathered from young people aged 12 to 18 who
> were questioned again six years later.
>
> According to the study, the STD rates were:
>
> o Whites who pledged virginity 2.8% - did not 3.5% o
> Blacks: pledgers 18.1% - non-pledgers 20.3% o Asians:
> pledgers 10.5% - non-pledgers 5.6% o Hispanics: pledgers
> 6.7% - non-pledgers 8.6%
>
> The study's authors say that from a statistical point of
> view, the rates are the same for both groups.
>
> "The message is really simple: 'Just say no' may work
> in the short-term but doesn't work in the long-term,"
> Peter Bearman of Columbia University's Department of
> Sociology said.
>

>
> Critics of abstinence-only education said the findings

>
> "It's a tragedy if we withhold from these kids
> information about how not to get STDs or not to get
> pregnant," Dorothy Mann, of the Family Planning Council,
> told the Associated Press.
>
> But promoters of abstinence argue that telling young
> people about condoms and other forms of contraception

> diseases.
>
> US President George W Bush has massively increased

> during his term in office.
>
> Christian abstinence organisation True Love Waits says it
> has more than one million card-carrying young members.
>
> On 13 February, thousands of American teenagers

> abstinence.
>
> More at:
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3546007.stm
>
> Jai Maharaj http://www.mantra.com/jai Om Shanti
>
> Panchaang for 20 Phalgun 5104, Tuesday, March 9, 2004:
>
> Shubhanu Nama Samvatsare Uttarayane Moksh Ritau Kumbh
> Mase Krshn Pakshe Mangal Vasara Yuktayam Chitra-Svati
> Nakshatr Vriddhi-Dhruv Yog Vishti-Bav Karan Triteeya-
> Chaturthi Yam Tithau
>
> Hindu Holocaust Museum http://www.mantra.com/holocaust
>
> Hindu life, principles, spirituality and philosophy
> http://www.hindu.org http://www.hindunet.org
>
> The truth about Islam and Muslims
> http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate
>
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