Nona Willis Aronowitz on a disturbing study that shows the effect of abstinence-only sex education not teaching young Americans the truth about birth control:
A new Guttmacher study quizzed 1,241 sexually active young adults between 18 and 29 about contraception, asking them to choose “true” or “false” for basic statements like “all IUDs are banned from use in the United States” or “condoms have an expiration date.” More than half of young men and a quarter of young women received a D or F on the quiz. Six in 10 underestimated the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
Unsurprisingly, the more young people knew about birth control, the less likely they were to have unprotected sex. And it’s not as if the ones forgoing contraception are ready to become parents: 69 percent of the women and almost half of the men claimed to be “committed to avoiding pregnancy.” A full 40 percent of them agreed that birth control really doesn’t matter — “when it is your time to get pregnant,” they agreed, “it will happen.” In other words, a significant number of young people’s “commitment” to remaining childless involves crossing their fingers, not wearing condoms or swallowing pills.
Her whole column is here.