Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shocked. We're just shocked.

We (well, most of us anyway) already knew that abstinence-only programs didn't do anything to prevent pregnancy or reduce teen sexual activity. Now breaking news, courtesy of the NY Times, shows that abstinence-only programs for HIV prevention do not work either!

The analysis, which was published in the The British Medical Journal, covered 13 studies involving more than 15,000 young Americans and covered mostly school based programs for kids in grades five through eight. Compared to control programs, says the Times, abstinence-only programs had no significant effect in either decreasing or increasing sexual risk behavior (the studies also found that none of the programs made any significant difference in preventing pregnancy, reducing unprotected sex, or delaying sexual initiation).

Hmm. What should we do next? I know -- MORE money to abstinence only because clearly the problem was not enough funding for the programs!


Also, I'm going to verbatim quote Will Saletan from Slate because, well, you'll see why:

"Another Egyptian girl has died from female genital mutilation. This is the second death in three months. Six years ago, according to a survey, nearly every Egyptian woman of childbearing age had been subjected to the procedure. The usual lethal risks are hemhorraging, infection, and childbirth complications—did we mention the mutilation? This time the cause of death was apparently related to anasthesia. It's been nine years since the government officially banned the practice and two months since it issued a similar decree, but apparently it's not doing the job. Legislation is in the works to stiffen the penalties."

To help stop female genital mutilation, click here!

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