Last month, Right Wing Watch detailed Focus on the Family’s attempt to blindly attribute the correlation between declining teen sex rates to the promotion of abstinence-only education. As we pointed out, correlation does not necessarily mean causation.
A news release from the abstinence-only education organization Project Reality continues the shoddy statistical analysis, detailing the overlapping decline in the teen pregnancy rate among 10-14 year olds with the increase in abstinence-only education. Project Reality’s director comments:
Here is yet another piece of evidence proving that authentic abstinence education IS working… These statistics reinforce what we’ve known all along, that teens respond to a positive abstinence message when it is given to them.
This is further evidence that abstinence programs are having an impact, that they are making a difference for teens — including children as young as 10 years of age… How, in good conscience, can a supposedly-responsible adult support public policies that would communicate to such girls and boys that ‘safe-sex’ is an appropriate option?
Taking a look at Project Reality’s own chart, however, one might notice another potential factor correlated to the declining pregnancy rate, the increase in federal funding for contraceptive programs. A recent Columbia University study seems to bear out Project Reality’s chart, citing improved contraceptive use as the primary factor for the declining teen pregnancy rate.