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In September, 1997, the findings of a study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  The study followed more than 12,000 teenagers from the 7th grade to the 12th grade.  The following five factors were found to be the greatest deterrent to unmarried teen sexual activity:

1.   A good relationship with parents

2.  Clearly expressed disapproval by parents of their teen being sexually active outside of marriage

3.  Strong disapproval of their teens using contraceptives

4. Teens having made an abstinence pledge (3 times more likely to be abstinent than teens who had not made such a pledge)

5.  Involvement in church activities