Monday, December 29, 2008

We already knew this

Updated But still, it's good to have it confirmed that the blithering, mouth-breathing, drool-mottled idiots of the right have no clue what the hell they are talking about. Again.

Under the tutelage of the anti-sex wingnut fanatics, the federal government established programs that now spend $200 million a year promoting abstinence, including having people sign so-called virginity pledges.

According to a new study published in the professional journal Pediatrics, those pledges don't do a damn thing. (A .pdf version of the entire article is available at this link.)
In this study, researchers compared the sexual behavior of 289 teenagers who reported taking a virginity pledge in a 1996 national survey to 645 non-pledgers who were matched on more than 100 factors, such as religious beliefs and attitudes toward sex and birth control.

The results showed that five years after taking the virginity pledge:

- 82% of pledgers denied ever having taken the pledge.
- Pledgers and matched non-pledgers did not differ in rates of premarital sex, sexually transmitted disease, and oral and anal sex behaviors.
- Pledgers had 0.1 fewer sexual partners in the past year but did not differ from non-pledgers in the number of lifetime sexual partners and the age of first sex.
That is, there was no real difference one way or the other. So was this just a matter or people going "Oh, yeah, sure, I'll sign, what the heck" but without any commitment? Perhaps. But there was one statistically-significant difference between the signers and the non-signers:
The study showed that fewer pledgers used birth control or condoms in the past year or any form of birth control the last time they had sex.
That is, they were every bit as likely to have sex, as soon, with as many people - but less likely to use birth control , in fact 10 percentage points less likely, leading to a greater risk of that bane of every right-thinking conservative moralistic blowhard, teenage pregnancy.

Why are we expected to listen to these people?

Footnote: KTK at Lean Left takes a look at a much wider field and reaches much the same conclusion, although expressed as a statement and let's just say somewhat less politely.

Updated to include the 10 percentage points info and its link.

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