The PoliBlog

The Collective
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Report: Abstinence not curbing teen sex.

Well, while I am sure that abstinence education may be failing to disuade teens from engaging in certain carnal activities (a finding that surely is not especially surprising), it would seem that if said teens were actually engaging in abstinence (as per the headline) that, in fact, it would be curbing teen sex.

Just sayin’.

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Filed under: US Politics | |


  1. I know you linked to the headline as a non serious comment, but more seriously on the subject of reports.

    This type of suspect stuff always comes out of various groups with an agenda. A couple of questions should always be asked on this type of “report”.

    – If the subject is important, why is it a media release instead of going through the peer review process? Peer review and publication in decent journal is the gold standard for anything attempting to prove anything statistically. So why was that not done?

    – Who wrote the report? A line like “…ETR Associates developed and markets several of the sex education curricula reviewed in the report” should raise a red flag that this isn’t research, but advocacy. Essentially what they’re saying is “People who have the other type of curricula are wrong. Buy mine.”

    – Who paid for the report? The sponsors here was “nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.” Who are they? Non partisan just means they don’t endorse candidates. Both planned parenthood and the National Rifle Association can claim that status. Have they in the past supported this type of curricula instead of abstinence? A quick review of their web site shows that they have advocated comprehensive education in schools for some time. So is it a surprise that their research shows that they’re right.

    I don’t mean to go after this report more than others. This type of “advocacy in a white coat” is used by groups across the political spectrum to give their ideas a scientific veneer. And who knows, their position may be the one that does the best job of reducing teen pregnancies. But the fact that they pay for a report that supports their ideas from a group that sells such supporting curricla just doesn’t prove a thing.

    Comment by Buckland — Wednesday, November 7, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  2. In all honesty, I also glanced at the story. I was solely tweaking the press presentation. But I understand what you are getting at.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, November 7, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  3. Abstinence-Only Teaching Doesn’t Curb Teen Sex

    YahooNews apparently thought the better of their headline “Report: Abstinence not curbing teen sex,” which is rather like saying “Eating not curbing hunger,” and replaced it with the more logically consistent “.”
    We …

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB — Thursday, November 8, 2007 @ 6:58 am

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