November 7th, 2009 16:58 EST
Study Data Does Not Show Comp Sex Ed Reduces Pregnancy or STDs
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study of sex education concluded that comprehensive sex education programs (CSE programs--those that include condom instruction) are effective. Yet the data showed that in schools, these programs had no significant impact on teen condom use, pregnancy or STDs, according to Irene Ericksen and Danielle Ruedt, two members of the study`s panel of consultants who issued a dissenting viewpoint.
According to Ericksen, a research analyst with The Institute for Research & Evaluation in Salt Lake City, the study also performed statistical tests that showed no difference between abstinence education (AE) vs. CSE on key outcomes: teen condom use, sexual activity, pregnancy, and STDs.
Furthermore, the AE programs produced a significant reduction in teen sexual activity, coming from 10 different studies and 6 authors. But the researchers discounted these results because several randomized AE studies showed lesser effects, even though these studies had important design problems that called into question their impact.
Ericksen added, "It is unfortunate the statistical evidence that demonstrates the above discrepancies was not released to the public along with the Recommendation Statement."
Leslee Unruh, President of the Abstinence Clearinghouse expressed concern at this inconsistent evidence. "These results present a different picture than the study`s published conclusions, especially for school-based CSE. Policy makers deserve accurate information regarding the lack of effects of these condom-centered programs. Moreover, the emotional health of our children is as important as their physical health and condom education fails youth in both of these areas. Abstinence education protects both."
For Ericksen and Ruedt`s minority report on the CDC sex ed study, go to www.instituteresearch.com.
The National Abstinence Clearinghouse serves and supports abstinence educators from all 53 states and territories and 105 countries with over 25 years of experience in the abstinence field. The National Abstinence Clearinghouse is a non-profit organization intended to promote the appreciation for and practice of sexual abstinence (purity) until marriage through the distribution of age-appropriate, factual and medically-referenced materials. For more information visit www.abstinence.net or call 605-335-3643.