A new study suggests that abstinence-only sex-ed — subsidized by the federal government to the tune of $176 million per annum — has no effect on how likely teens are to have sex. Interestingly, it also has no effect on how likely teens are to use contraception when they do have sex; liberal critics have long posited that abstinence-only sex-ed would lead to more unprotected sex.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that teens are influenced more by things like prevailing social norms and the involvement of parents in their lives than by anything that happens in a few hours in the classroom. And as Jonah Goldberg noted just yesterday, the “power of the federal government to change things is much more limited and blunt then a lot of inside-the-Beltway types on the left and right appreciate.” Surely, the politics of what type of sex-ed kids get belongs at the local level; the Congress has no business playing national school board.
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