Abstinence-only Programs Still Don’t Work

Those who are concerned with reality probably didn’t need more evidence that abstinence-only programs don't work, but we have some anyway. The nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy released the results of its latest research project this week.

“At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners” among teenagers, the study concluded. […]

The study found that while abstinence-only efforts appear to have little positive impact, more comprehensive sex education programs were having “positive outcomes” including teenagers “delaying the initiation of sex, reducing the frequency of sex, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing condom or contraceptive use.”

“Two-thirds of the 48 comprehensive programs that supported both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives for sexually active teens had positive behavior effect,” said the report.

You mean, simply telling teenagers not to have sex doesn’t work? And quality, comprehensive education does? And the Bush administration insists on supporting the prior while rejecting the latter? You don’t say.


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