Friday, September 01, 2006

Kerry Howley argues that since sex ed hasn't proven to be at all effective, why bother to teach in school at all?
At the end of 259-page book on the subject, Luker can't find a single study robust enough to back. She sighs, "We are looking for an outcome, teenage sexual behavior, that is affected by many forces, only one of which is sex education, during a period of tremendous social change, which has surely had some independent impact on such behavior, and we are looking at everything from one class room period to a semester's worth of classes, all in the service of trying to see if they affected the outcome."
The question that springs to my mind is, what do private schools tend to do? That seems a good test of what parents really want (assuming the relevant preferences of private-school-paying parents are not too different from those of other parents). I don't know if there is data on this question, but I'll bet the answer is that private schools don't tend very strongly towards any one way of teaching or not teaching about sex. Chalk this up as another reason to have more competition in K-12 education. With increased ability to shop around, there is less need to spend time and money on hostile political campaigns.


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