You gotta have faith

Things that come as a surprise to absolutely no one (via the GAO):

As of August 2006, HHS, states, and researchers had made a variety of efforts to assess the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs, but a number of factors limit the conclusions that can be drawn about the programs’ effectiveness. ACF and OPA have required their grantees to report on various outcomes used to measure program effectiveness. To assess the effectiveness of its grantees’ programs, ACF has analyzed national data on adolescent birth rates and the proportion of adolescents who report having had sexual intercourse. Additionally, 6 of the 10 states in GAO’s review worked with third-party evaluators to assess the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage programs in their states. However, the conclusions that can be drawn are limited because most of the efforts to evaluate program effectiveness have not met certain minimum criteria that experts have concluded are necessary for such assessments to be scientifically valid. Additionally, the results of some efforts that do meet such criteria have varied.

Science? We don’t need science! We’ll just trust in the Lord to override the naughty impulses surging through our kids’ bodies!

Yeah, how’s that working for you?

We identified two key studies that experts anticipated would meet the criteria of a scientifically valid effectiveness study. Experts and federal officials we interviewed stated that they expected the results of these two federally funded studies to add substantively to the body of research on the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs. One of these key studies—the final Mathematica report, contracted by ASPE, on the State Program—has been completed. In this report, the researchers found that youth who participated in the abstinence-until-marriage education programs were no more likely than control group youth to have abstained from sex, and among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of sexual partners and had initiated sex at the same average age. The youth in abstinence-until-marriage education programs also were no more likely to have engaged in unprotected sex than control group youth.

Unfortunately, expecting the little piggies latched on to this particular teat of the government (you didn’t actually think anyone gives a fuck about the kids did you?) to wean themselves is like expecting a preacher to admit he’s been snorting meth off a hooker without a fight.

Hurry up 2009.

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