So, the new research on sex education shows that if y’all bother to teach us the real facts of sex education, we tend to be more responsible about sex and even to wait longer before we start. So, of course the right wingers prefer not to teach us and just hope we do what they think is right. Smart? NO! But it lets them bury their head in the sand so more teens can get sexually transmitted diseases and become pregnant.
This is what CarpetbaggerReport says about it:
The WaPo reported the other day that at least 14 states have “either notified the federal government that they will no longer be requesting [sex education] funds or are not expected to apply,” because the Bush administration mandates abstinence-only lessons in public schools receiving the funding.
“We’re concerned about this,” said Stan Koutstaal of the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the program. “My greatest concern about states dropping out is that these are valuable services and programs. It’s the youths in these states who are missing out.”
Actually, that’s backwards. The youths are better off with actual sex-ed.
Teenagers who have had formal sex education are far more likely to put off having sex, contradicting earlier studies on the effectiveness of such programs, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
They found teenage boys who had sex education in school were 71 percent less likely to have intercourse before age 15, and teen girls who had sex education were 59 percent less likely to have sex before age 15.
Sex education also increased the likelihood that teen boys would use contraceptives the first time they had sex, according to the study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“Sex education seems to be working,” Trisha Mueller, an epidemiologist with the CDC who led the study, said in a statement. “It seems to be especially effective for populations that are usually at high risk.”
Whaddaya know; giving young people reliable, accurate information about sexual health leads to safer, more responsible behavior. Who would have guessed?
And on the flip side, we have the Bush administration’s approach.
Programs that focus exclusively on abstinence have not been shown to affect teenager sexual behavior, although they are eligible for tens of millions of dollars in federal grants, according to a study released by a nonpartisan group that seeks to reduce teen pregnancies.
“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.
Bush has routinely talked, in other contexts, about funding “what works.” If only he meant it.