Abstinence-only sex education is back on solid scientific ground, with a study showing the method may be more effective than safe sex education in discouraging young teens from taking the plunge. Different groups of 6th- and 7th-graders were given short courses in abstinence, safe sex, or a combination of the two. Two years later, 33% of the abstinence students had become sexually active, compared to 52% of the safe-sex pupils.
The study could bring federal funding to the method, as the Obama administration's new pregnancy prevention program will fund only scientifically proven programs, reports the Washington Post. While a proponent calls the new findings “game-changing,” critics caution that it doesn't validate all abstinence programs: This approach did not encourage kids to wait until marriage to have sex, but just until they were ready, and did not discourage condom use, as do many abstinence programs.