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Does Abstinence-only Education Work?

Posted by Toni Vitanza

Now, look, I know this isn’t a political blog. But Sarah Palin’s situation — having a 17-year-old daughter who is pregnant — provides a teachable moment for ourselves, and, more importantly, for our kids. Obviously the abstinence-only message didn’t work for Palin’s daughter. Do you think that abstinence-only education works, in general? I’m looking not for statistical evidence — it’s easy enough to find on either side, and easily biased and easily skewed — but rather for anecdotal evidence. For a gut feeling. What do you want your kids to know? Do you want to teach them, or do you want their school to teach them? Do you think that a pro-abstinence message is compromised by a follow-up that includes information about birth control — how to obtain it, how to use it — or do you think the abstinence-only message has to stand on its own to be effective?

And do you think it’s a good idea for a 17-year-old to marry the father of her baby? Is it what you would want for your own teen, if he or she were to find themself in that position?

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