Students who took part in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex as those who did not, according to a study ordered by Congress.
Also, those who attended one of the four abstinence classes that were reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes. And they first had sex at about the same age as other students -- 14.9 years, according to Mathematica Policy Research Inc.
The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education. Critics have repeatedly said they don't believe the programs are working, and the study will give them reinforcement.
A government sponsored study undercut the government-led abstinence campaign. But of course, these kinds of evidences will never dissuade those who have faith in these programs:
However, Bush administration officials cautioned against drawing sweeping conclusions from the study. They said the four programs reviewed -- among several hundred across the nation -- were some of the very first established after Congress overhauled the nation's welfare laws in 1996.
Officials said one lesson they learned from the study is that the abstinence message should be reinforced in subsequent years to truly affect behavior.
Please, Mr. Bush. Shut the fuck up. You are wrong. This is only one of countless pieces of evidence that shows that safe sex education beats the snot out of abstinence only education. Go pray somewhere and leave us evidence lovers the fuck alone.
Mathematica then did a follow up survey in late 2005 and early 2006. By that time, the average age for participants was about 16.5. Mathematica found that about half of the abstinence students and about half from the control group reported that they remained abstinent.
"I really do think it's a two-part story. First, there is no evidence that the programs increased the rate of sexual abstinence," said Chris Trenholm, a senior researcher at Mathematica who oversaw the study. "However, the second part of the story that I think is equally important is that we find no evidence that the programs increased the rate of unprotected sex."
You abstinence lovers are done. Kaput. Finished. This weekend, I'm going to celebrate this latest victory with lots of safe sex! I suggest my readers do the same :)