What is abstinence and how does it work?
Sexual abstinence is the choice to refrain from sexual activity. People make the choice to be abstinent for many reasons. And people can be abstinent in different ways. Some people define abstinence as refraining from any sexual activity whatsoever. Others define it as refraining from sexual intercourse. It’s important to discuss what abstinence means to you and to your partner if you’re choosing to be abstinent. As a method of birth control, abstinence works by refraining from sexual activity, so all a person has to do is not have sex. Choosing to be abstinent is just like choosing any other method of birth control: it’s about what you want for you, your body and your life. For more information, visit KidsHealth.org
What kinds of Abstinence are there and when should they be used?
Some people are abstinent all the time. Others aren’t. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America outlines the difference between continuous abstinence and periodic abstinence as well as the benefits and risks of both methods. To find out more, click here.
What is Abstinence Only Education?
Abstinence Only education is sex ed that only provides participants with information about abstinence for preventing pregnancy and infection. Abstinence Plus is a type of comprehensive sex ed that provides information about all aspects of sexuality and pregnancy prevention while emphasizing abstinence as the best method of pregnancy and disease prevention for adolescents. For more information on this, see our Sex Ed page.