It’s a science
Ellen Goodman hit the nail on the head with her analysis of a new study on teens and sexual activity [“Sex mis-education doesn’t work,” syndicated columnist, Jan. 2]. For the past eight years, our government has funded and promoted abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, despite mounting evidence that these classes make adolescents more likely to have unprotected sex.
Advice to patients should always be guided by scientific evidence. As a physician, I have encouraged my patients to exercise more or stop smoking based on studies that show the health benefits of these behaviors.
I urge President-elect Obama to use the same principle when deciding which sex-education programs merit federal funding. Comprehensive programs — including lessons on relationship-building, responsibility and birth control — are the best choice for raising healthy adults.
— Suzanne Poppema, MD, Edmonds