Abstinence, Now With Condoms

Dan Savage reads the latest study on abstinence education:

[H]ere's what the Jesus crowdalong with the headline writers and headline scannersare glossing over: this study didn't find the kind of Jesus-hates-premarital-sex abstinence-only sex education backed by groups like Abstinence Clearinghouse to be effective. The study focused [on] African American 6th and 7th graders and found that a secular "abstinence-only" sex ed approach that didn't moralize but instead focused on empowering these very young children12-14 year oldscould delay the onset of premarital sexual activity. Unlike the abstinence-only sex ed programs that the Bush administration poured hundreds of millions of dollars into over the last decadeagain, the programs the Abstinence Clearinghouse backsthis study's abstinence-only model didn't discourage condom use or present kids with false information about the risks of sexual activity.

Douthat continues the conversation.