Friday, July 13, 2007

This is good news on both fronts

American Teens: Less Sex, More Condoms

Published: July 13, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer high school students are having sex these days, and more are using condoms. The teen birth rate has hit a record low.

More young people are finishing high school, too, and more little kids are being read to, according to the latest government snapshot on the well-being of the nation's children. It's good news on a number of key wellness indicators, experts said of the report being released Friday.

''The implications for the population are quite positive in terms of their health and their well-being,'' said Edward Sondik, director of the National Center for Health Statistics. ''The lower figure on teens having sex means the risk of sexually transmitted diseases is lower.''

(cont'd at link above)

I think what this proves is not that any one version of sex education works to the exclusion of all others, but that just entering into the dialog with teenagers has a positive impact.

True, I still think educating teens on how to protect themselves makes more sense than the dictatorial sounding "Thou Shalt Not Have Sex Until Married," just because the only way to enforce the latter is to lock all kids up until they're married ... and even THEN you know how smart a lot of teens are, so that isn't a guarantee, either. And it has the side benefit of protecting members of married couples from being downstream from one or the other partners' potential infidelity. But the big thing it proves is that opening the discussion itself is the key.

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