Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Health policies that make me mad

I briefly wrote a column in a tabloid called 'You call that research' in which bleeding obvious research of the 'alcohol makes you drunk' or 'childbirth can be painful' type was held up as a waste of time and money. The story today that Abstinence-only 'sex ed' doesn't work should fall into the same category.

In a nutshell, research from the US has shown that only sex education that explains about birth control can reduces teen pregancies and that the 'just say no' approach is not much better than no sex education at all. Pretty obvious right? Not to the US government -it makes hundreds of millions of dollars available to sex education programs every year but only to those that don't mention birth control or condoms, other than to emphasize their failure rates.

No wonder more than half a million US teenagers have unplanned pregnancies every year - one of the worst rates in the world. With government policies as daft as these it's no surprise that 64% of people believe that society is getting angrier. Policies like these make my blood boil. How many times do we have to say it?' Just say no to 'just say no'. Education not intimidation.

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