A study published this month concludes that abstinence only sex education is not effective in changing the behaviors of teens. A silver lining, if you can call it that, is that there was no measurable difference between the study group and the control group. So, the abstinence only education did not negatively affect the rates at which these teens were sexing each other up, nor did it affect the rates that they contracted sexually transmitted disease. A Bush appointee says “This study isn’t rigorous enough to show whether or not [abstinence only] education works,” but we know that the Bush administration has a long established policy of only accepting scientific evidence if it supports their preconceived notions.
However, the people who are doomcrying the abstinence only education and the ones who are retrenching to defend it are missing an important shade to the study conclusion. There was no significant difference in the two groups, therefore education that included contraception was just as (in)effective as abstinence-only!
That does not bode well for our current educational strategies. Or maybe it establishes that education has no power over teenage hormones.