Teenagers who take a public vow to abstain from sex have fewer partners and get married earlier.
But they are much less likely to use condoms, the research found.
"It's difficult to simultaneously prepare for sex and say you're not going to have sex," the study's author Peter Bearman told the AP news agency.
Whites who pledged virginity 2.8% - did not 3.5%
Blacks: pledgers 18.1% - non-pledgers 20.3%
Asians: pledgers 10.5% - non-pledgers 5.6%
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.
THis topic, of 'just saying no' as a way of life came up recently, and i thought this might be worth posting as a continuation of the topic from a slightly different angle.
"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 increases sexual activity - and as a result increases the rate of teenage pregnancy and the transmission of sexual diseases.
I really want to discuss this, so i'll leave out my own comments initially