The Family Foundation supports healthy marriage and family formation education to youth in conjunction with abstinence-until-marriage education, where marriage between one man and woman is promoted as the expected context for sexual behaviors and as the best family structure for raising children.
Risk avoidance or abstinence messaging serves as the best primary prevention approach for those who both have and have not been sexually active outside of marriage. This public health approach promotes the optimal reproductive health, sexual health, and psycho-social and societal outcomes. Abstinence education mutually reinforces the risk avoidance message given to youth regarding drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and violence.
Based upon sound behavioral theory, abstinence-focused education provides the skills necessary to avoid sexual activity, build character, and develop healthy relationships. Well-developed abstinence-until-marriage curricula should be accurate, age-appropriate, and promote a positive view of sexuality in the appropriate context of marriage.
Both health care providers and parents should reinforce the fact that abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage are the most effective method of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and negative outcomes associated with premarital and extramarital sex. Equally important, such an approach prepares both men and women for the best sex within marriage.