Saturday, April 21, 2007

Abstinence Programs: No ROI

Going a little off topic this morning, err afternoon, but came across the shocking news (pdf) that abstinence education (Four Title V Section 510) resulted in --wait for it -- absolutely no change in sexual behavior by teens. The study was conducted by the Mathematica Policy Research Inc.. Slate reports it was a government initiated study. Here is the first paragraph of the "Impacts on Behavior" summary:

Findings indicate that youth in the program group were no more likely than control group youth to have abstained from sex and, among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of sexual partners and had initiated sex at the same mean age. Contrary to concerns raised by some critics of the Title V, Section 510 abstinence funding, however, program group youth were no more likely to have engaged in unprotected sex than control group youth.
Let's hope this ridiculously transparent initiative doesn't get anymore federal funding. We deserve more separation between church and state.

Here, by the way, is a counter-article from a woman who helped design the abstinence curriculum for one program, if you want to see the other perspective on the study: "Don't Believe the Headlines" from


Harsh Shah said...

No ROI is a humorous way to put it. I remember reading that the abstinence initiative receives close to $177 MM in federal funding every year.