I'm too brain-fried to really go through the results of the study on abstinence-only education released today - but the short answer is that it doesn't work worth a damn. From the Associated Press (via boston.com), the headline is Study: Abstinence classes don't stop sex:
WASHINGTON --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.The full study is available here (720Kb PDF). The executive summary makes for interesting reading. So does the timing of the release - late Friday afternoon, when hopefully nobody's paying attention.
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.
Meanwhile, today is the 18th anniversary of my getting out of the Navy (or, as we used to say, "PCS to CIVLANTFLT"). Just like signing up was the right thing to do at the time, so was getting out - although I do sometimes think about how life would have been different had I chosen to remain in uniform.