ESTEEM Research

Teaching character development, adolescent safety and sexual risk avoidance.

Did you know…

One in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease (STD). (1)
Teen sex can deflate self-esteem, erode optimism, and spoil the quality of intimate relationships. (2)
Sixty-six percent of teens who have had sex wish they had waited longer. (3)

ESTEEM helps to improve student awareness of and tendency toward making healthy decisions. The more teens are aware of dangers and consequences of risky behaviors, the more prepared they will be to avoid such situations. Teens that “wait” stay in school longer, and ESTEEM has been proven effective in helping teens understand the impact of their choices!

Sex tends to cut education short. Studies show that sexually active teens — whose numbers grow by 7,000 a day — are more likely to drop out of high school and quit college than are teens who abstain from sexual activity. Teaching abstinence in schools, proponents say, counters not only lower academic achievement but greater risks of depression and disease. (4, 5)

ESTEEM is a peer-reviewed curriculum (6) that is designed by a coalition of dedicated people, including students, science teachers, coaches, counselors, nurses, doctors, SHAC members and parents. ESTEEM uses multiple styles to teach the same core topics throughout the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades and High School while appropriately increasing the maturity level of the content each year.


1, 2, 3.

4. National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), 2001.

5. Note: “Abstinent teens” means teens who didn’t have sex before age 18;
“sexually active teens” means those who did. Respondents were 19 to 25.

6. Tobin, T. (2011). ESTEEM and FACTS: Creative Ways to Teach Healthy
Lifestyles to Youth from Diverse Backgrounds. Creative Education,
Vol. 2, No. 3, 193-198.

ESTEEM Results

Excerpts from a longitudinal evaluation of ESTEEM conducted by Tary Tobin, PhD, University of Oregon, showing the combined percentage of youth who, after the ETAP program, “Agree” or “Strongly agree” with the following statements:

Proportion of adolescents who understand that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

“The best way for teenagers to avoid unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is to wait until they are married before having sex.”

2001-2002: 76%
2002-2003: 78%
2003-2004: 84% in Grades 7 and 8, 78% of high school students
2004-2005: 83%
2005-2006: 78%
2006-2007: 83%
2007-2008: 90%

Proportion of participants who report they have the refusal or assertiveness skills necessary to resist sexual urges and advances.

“If someone tries to get me to have sex, I feel confident I can say no.

2001-2002: 64%
2002-2003: 77%
2003-2004: 70%
2004-2005: 76%
2005-2006: 77%
2006-2007: 78%
2007-2008: 77%

Proportion of participants who intend to avoid situations and risk behaviors, such as drug use and alcohol consumption, which make them more vulnerable to sexual advances and urges.”My friends and I can have fun without sex, drugs, or alcohol.

2001-2002: 75%;
2002-2003: 84%;
2003-2004: 80%;
2004-2005: 84%;
2005-2006: 84%;
2006-2007: 84%;
2007-2008: 85%.

Proportion of youth who commit to abstain from sexual activity until marriage.The list below shows the combined percentage of youth, after the ETAP program, who responded “Yes” to the following question: “Whether or not you have ever had sex, in the future do you plan to wait until marriage?”

2001-2002: 59%
2002-2003: 59%
2003-2004: 56%
2004-2005: 67%
2005-2006: 64%
2006-2007: 65%
2007-2008: 64%

ESTEEM Research

Summary Evaluation for ETAP 7 yrs

ESTEEM Peer Review

Abstinence Education – Program Evaluation

ESTEEM full Eval 07-08 Dr. Tary Tobin

Abstinence Evaluation Paper

ESTEEM Absti evaluation 07

What students have said about the ESTEEM program:

  • “I stand strong in my virginity…it’s great to know someone out there shares my feelings.” Nathan 17
  • “I really appreciate the messages virginity rules sends out to teenagers.” Casey 17
  • “I think it is really important to tell teens that just because your friends are having sex doesn’t mean you have to, there are other options.” Melissa 19
  • “Abstinence means not being sexually active, being safe, and doing what’s right.” Jon 13
  • “To me it means when you hold off on having any sexual contact of any kind because of values and personal preferences.” Andrea 13
  • “It means that I can have a future with a good career, and no STD’s or STI’s.” Erica 12
  • “Abstinence is choosing not to engage in something, despite how good it might look because you know that it is better not to.” Larry 18
  • “My boyfriend and I both have chosen to be abstinent (…) because it helps us keep a strong relationship.” Amanda 17
  • “I choose to be abstinent because I don’t want to end up pregnant, with a sexually transmitted disease, or have to deal with the emotional effects of sex.” Roxanne 13
  • “I want sex to be a gift shared only with my future wife after marriage.” Marcus 18

Risk Avoidance Research

Adstinence Programs and Academic Performance

Abstinence programs that work

Adolescent Boys’ Sexual Risk

Benefits of teaching Teen Adstinence

More Young People abstaining

Premarital Sex and Marital Stability

SRA Education Report

Workforce Readiness – Relationship Skills

TEKS Compliance

ESTEEM is in compliance with many states’ requirements for health education, especially the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards. See how ESTEEM fulfills TEKS standards line-by-line: