Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study being released today.
The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a “virginity pledge,” but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for nonpledgers.
“Taking a pledge doesn’t seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior,” said Janet Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. “But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking.”
Michigan: 37,000 homes lose power
Wind gusting more than 60 mph knocked out power to about 370,000 Michigan homes and businesses, mostly in Wayne and Oakland counties, on Sunday as temperatures dipped back into the 20s and 30s. Meanwhile, flood warnings were posted throughout the Midwest as temperatures rose after a week of heavy snowfall. Forecasters said flooding was possible in areas of Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no:Teen arrested in officer’s shooting
A teenager was arrested Sunday in connection with the fatal shooting of a suburban Detroit police officer who had stopped him for driving without a license, police said. The Detroit teenager surrendered to police a few hours after shooting Oak Park Officer Mason Samborski, police said. Samborski, 28, stopped the 16-year-old driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee during the early morning. The officer put the teen in his squad car and drove him to a nearby apartment complex, apparently seeking an adult to take custody of him or someone who could establish his identity, Chief John McNeilance said. A struggle occurred at the apartment and Samborski was shot once, the chief said. He wouldn’t say if the officer was shot with his own gun.
D.C.: Police officer deaths fall
Fewer police officers died in the line of duty in 2008 compared with last year, reflecting better training and tactics, two law enforcement support groups reported Sunday. Officer deaths this year totaled 140, compared with 181 in 2007, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and another group, Concerns of Police Survivors. One of the deaths was in Washington state, the groups said.
Illinois: Blagojevich will be out by mid-February, lieutenant gov. says
The lieutenant governor of Illinois said Sunday he is certain scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be out of office in less than two months. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, speaking from Chicago, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” he believes Blagojevich will be impeached and convicted by the Illinois Legislature by Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial birthday celebration on Feb. 12. Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on charges alleging he schemed to swap President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for profit, shaking down a hospital executive for campaign donations and other wrongdoing. The governor has declared his innocence and says he will fight the charges.
Russia: Stalin a ‘greatest Russian’
Television viewers have voted Soviet dictator Josef Stalin — who sent millions to their deaths in the Great Purge of the 1930s — Russia’s third-greatest historical figure.
The 90-day, nationwide project by the state-run Rossiya channel said the vote for the greatest Russian went to Russian medieval leader Alexander Nevsky, who defeated various European invaders during his 13th-century reign and was subsequently canonized. In second place was Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister early in the 20th century under Czar Nicholas II.
Mexico: Smuggler gets 60 years
Mexican prosecutors say they won a 60-year prison term for a human smuggler who helped about 200 people sneak into the U.S., including Hezbollah supporters. Boughader, a Mexican of Lebanese descent, ran a cafe in the city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego.
Scotland: Woman was kept in car trunk for days; man is arrested
Scottish police said Sunday they arrested a 35-year-old man in connection with the abduction of a nurse who was found tied up in the trunk of her car, where she may have been held for as long as 10 days. Magdeline Makola had been reported missing after she failed to show up for work at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Dec. 18. Police said she was last seen Dec. 15. Officers found her Friday in Airdrie in the trunk of her car. She was bound, in her nightwear and suffering from dehydration and hypothermia. On Sunday, police announced a man had been taken into custody.
From Herald news services