Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush's evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US's major public health body.They are referring to this report from the CDC and I don't think that they have understood it.
For example they claim that teenage pregnancies have risen sharply, but these are the only figures the CDC gives, in table 29, show the rate of pregnancies among 15-19 year olds getting continuously lower:
2000- 84.8This is what the Guardian describes as a sharp rise in teenage pregnancy.
I think I know what they have done, but I'll let readers guess for themselves.
(Report via Letters from a Tory)
Update: I suppose everyone is on tenterhooks waiting to hear my opinion on abstinence only education. If not then tough because I'm going to share my view anyway. I don't think it works well however neither does regular sex ed. I suspect that teaching children English, Science, Foreign Languages & Mathematics properly would have a greater effect in reducing teenage pregnancy than any form of Sex Education.
Update 2: I've compared the teenage pregnancy rate from 1972 to 2004 with the homicide rate for the same year. The correlation between the two sets of figures is .85, which for the benefit of those not familiar with statistical jargon means that there is an extremely strong correlation.
Who knew that murder rates were so strongly influenced by sex education programmes?
Update 3: At least 70 blogs (according to google blogsearch) are covering this story but I appear to be the only person who has spent 5 minutes to actually look at the figures.