En Tequila Es Verdad/progressive conservatism/post/2009/04/22/1537

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April 22, 2009 3:37 PM - Woozle

Woozle said...

I think we have a solid disagreement here, then. The goal is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and the spread of disease. If the technique is taught as directed and yet the pregnancies or disease still happen, then to whatever extent this happens it has failed.

The failure rates of various techniques will then inform us of which one we want to use in order to optimize the outcome (i.e. minimizing some weighted sum of unwanted pregnancies and diseases spread).

If it's true that ABE's pregnancy and disease rates are no worse than those for proper sex ed, however, then this indicates that ABE works surprisingly well (it's amazing that it works at all).

Just don't go saying that "abstinence is 100% effective", because that's only true in an ideal world where people are 100% effective at mastering their hormonal impulses.

If you're talking about it as a personal practice, rather than an educational technique, it's still misleading because it implies that abstinence is so effective that you should just practice it and not bother to learn about any others. A kid might promise to never, never fire a gun without trained supervision -- but just to be on the safe side, wouldn't you rather s/he was fully trained in gun safety?

(Which is really a lovely example of the difference in integrity levels between liberals and conservatives: I don't think I've ever heard an anti-gun liberal bring up the bogus argument that "if we teach kids about guns, they'll want to use them".)