This is by no means the first report with similar findings, but it never hurts to attempt to penetrate Arkansas legislative skulls with facts that challenge their wishful thinking:
From researchers at the University of Georgia:
States that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs, researchers from the University of Georgia have determined.
… “This clearly shows that prescribed abstinence-only education in public schools does not lead to abstinent behavior,” said David Hall, second author and assistant professor of genetics in the Franklin College. “It may even contribute to the high teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. compared to other industrialized countries.”
Arkansas law emphasizes abstinence education, but not to the extent some states do. It is possible to teach comprehensive sex education — abstinence first but also birth control — but I don’t know if anyone has ever studied how rigorously that is observed in public schools. We know, for example, that while evolution is supposed to be part of science teaching in Arkansas, it is frequently omitted.
COINCIDENTALLY: I heard today of a Saline County blogger’s post about one of the abstinence-only programs that have insinuated themselves into Arkansas public schools. They are typicallly church-based products, though minimally cleansed of overt religious orientation to sneak them into the classrooms. Where, as the research shows, they don’t work. Conway is a hotbed of this claptrap. Another complaint about the Real Deal abstinence program in Arkansas on this blog.
Full news release on jump: