We are pleased to present in this Advisory a Joint Statement from Ascend (formally National Abstinence Education Association or NAEA) and Medical Institute on Oxytocin, a neuro-hormone that affects sexual behavior. With MI’s 2008 publication of the book, Hooked, New Science on How Casual Sex is affecting our Children by J. McIlhaney and F. Bush, much interest in Oxytocin was generated, resulting in utilization of the information in the SRA education community. The book presents breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience that explain the impact that sexual activity has on the developing brains of adolescents and young adults. This Joint Statement is issued to provide updated research information and clarify any misuse of the information from the book, Hooked.
Medical Institute is dedicated to aligning and disseminating scientific data that promotes optimal health and wellness. Since its founding in 1992, MI has provided medically accurate, research based, sexual health resources to healthcare professionals, policy makers, community influencers, educators, parents and youth to ensure that sex education provides skills and information in the best health interest of youth. This information is provided through MI’s website, conferences, trainings, brochures, videos and books.
During the fall of 2006, the National Abstinence Leadership Council (NALC), comprised of leading abstinence providers from across the country, gathered to discuss current and future needs of the abstinence education field. As a result of ensuing discussions, these leaders voted to form NAEA (National Abstinence Education Association) as a 501(c)(4) membership association to offer unique member services, including advocacy on behalf of abstinence education for abstinence education organizations, educators and providers.
This winter 2015, NAEA name changed to Ascend. The work they do is invaluable. Weekly updates to the “troops” in the trenches give detailed information, so when members call elected officials, or speak to members of their community, they can speak intelligently about the issues. “Training of the trainers” to keep them updated on current educational information is another vital service ASCEND provides. These trainings use background materials from videos to journals with up-to-date references. Additionally, they look at what objections the opposition has about sexual risk avoidance (SRA) and seek to continually improve the way the SRA message is delivered.
Thank you for your attention to this updated information. It is the mission of both organizations to present factual information to parents and others to help young people avoid making life-changing mistakes and to encourage wise relationship decisions for life.