Even though they claim to be pro‐family, some politicians want the government to act like Mommy and Daddy. President Bush’s abstinence program is a good example of this unfortunate willingness to adopt nanny‐state policies. But like almost everything the government does, abstinence programs are an expensive failure. The UK‐based Guardian reports on the latest research:
It’s been a central plank of George Bush’s social policy: to stop teenagers having sex. More than $1bn of federal money has been spent on promoting abstinence since 1998 — posters printed, television adverts broadcast and entire education programmes devised for hundreds of thousands of girls and boys. The trouble is, new research suggests that it hasn’t worked. At all. A survey of more than 2,000 teenagers carried out by a research company on behalf of Congress found that the half of the sample given abstinence‐only education displayed exactly the same predilection for sex as those who had received conventional sex education in which contraception was discussed.