Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Half of Teens Girls Are Sexually Active, and Half of Them Have a Sexually Transmitted Infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their major study of teen girls and sex. The headline of this post contains the main finding.

The news story, and many variants on it, goes on to attack abstinence-based sex ed curricula. This strikes me as a non sequitur, at best. The report does not indicate what sort of sex education these girls might have had. One might look at the raw finding and conclude that we need much more education in abstinence.

The secondary finding is that half of African-American girls have sexually transmitted infections. The rate for white and Hispanic teens is 20%. This is just a disaster. My expectation is that the sexual activity of girls directly correlates with whether their fathers are active in their homes, but that is not provided in the news articles. This would account for the enormous racial disparity in the STI rate, though.


kerri said...

I would think that family environment is important not only because a stable family is more likely to produce kids that are less likely to be "out and about," but also because such an environment would be more conducive to being supportive and informative for the kids-- so that when/if they do have sex, somebody close to their heart has talked to them about how to do it safely.

peter hoh said...

What's the cause of the "father effect" on the statistics?

I don't think that the fathers are squelching dating, though they may play a part in delaying the start of dating. I suspect that girls who live with their fathers are less likely to date boys/men who are significantly older than themselves.

Gruntled said...

I think having a protective father means that the girl is not on her own for moral regulation.