July 19, 2007
More good news for advocates of abstinence programs: a five-year study cited by the New York Times found that 49% of teenagers who had, er, benefited from abstinence education had never had sex—while 55% hadn’t had sex in the past year. Sadly, the equivalent statistics for teenagers who hadn’t had abstinence education were 49% and 56%—and the study also found no difference in the age at which each group first had sex. Although there was the odd outlier:
Through a combination of less sex and more contraception, pregnancy and birth rates among American teenagers as a whole have been falling since about 1991. Texas, however, has seen the smallest decline despite receiving almost $17 million in the name of virginity.
Small wonder that many states are reconsidering the millions of taxpayer dollars they have squandered on the religious right’s sex-obsessed agenda. The Times reports that 11 state health departments rejected abstinence education so far this year, while legislatures in Colorado, Iowa and Washington have passed laws that could take it out of public schools for good.
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