Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Young people like abstinence

At least that's what the Washington Times is reporting about a Harris Poll on public opinion regarding whether abstinence-only sexuality education is effective in preventing preganancy and disease. The poll reports that the majority of Americans think that these programs don't work. However, when the survey group is broken down by age, the younger groups are more inclined to believe that abstinence-only education is effective. The older the surveyed group, the less likely they were to believe in that effectiveness.

The Times seems to think that this is surely proof that such programs are effective, since those who are the targets of the programs think they are. As the original source for their article, the Harris Poll, points out:

In reviewing these poll results, one should bear in mind that these results only measure perceptions. They do not provide any measures of the actual effectiveness of these programs. Furthermore, even a modest reduction in HIV/AIDS or unwanted pregnancies could reasonably be counted as a success. What this survey reveals is that most adults are skeptical about the effectiveness of these programs.

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