Impact of the choosing the best program in communities committed to abstinence education

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States vary in standards for sex education, some requiring an emphasis on abstinence. Schools seek to identify curricula that reflect local community values and meet state standards. Choosing the Best (CTB), a classroom-based abstinence education curriculum, has been implemented in 75 Georgia school districts since 1995. CTB Inc., sought to determine if this popular program had an impact on abstinence attitudes, intentions, and behavior. Six Georgia public schools (1,143 ninth graders) participated in the study in 2009-2010. Four randomly assigned schools received the CTB curriculum, taught by trained CTB staff. Two control schools received their usual textbook-based abstinence lessons. Surveys were conducted at the beginning and end of 9th grade, and the beginning of 10th grade. Data demonstrated significant impact of CTB at the end of 9th grade on commitment to abstinence, proabstinence beliefs and attitudes, intentions to maintain abstinence, and lower onset of sexual intercourse, and at the beginning of 10th grade on proabstinence attitudes. In two communities that sought an abstinence education approach, CTB had a short-term impact on abstinence attitudes, commitment, and behaviors, and a longer term impact on abstinence attitudes only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Abstinence commitment
  • Abstinence education
  • Education
  • Onset of sexual intercourse
  • Schools
  • Sexual activity
  • Social sciences
  • State standards


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