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September 24, 2012

Amanda Marcotte: Sex-Ed Classes Totally Reduce Teen Pregnancy! A Comparison of Mississippi and NY Teen Birth Rates Proves It!
Ross Douthat: No, That Proves That Fewer Pregnancies In NY Result in a Birth, Dear

Marcotte on "anti-sex radicals," being all anti-sex and radical.

Even though 95 percent of all Americans have sex before marriage and 99 percent of sexually active women use contraception at some point, the Mississippi law assumes that these life choices fall somewhere between "highly controversial" and "unmentionably evil."...

Meanwhile, in New York City, some schools have gone beyond simply teaching about contraception to actually offering it to students...

These kinds of gulfs between communities have a real effect on health outcomes. In a place like Mississippi, where scolding kids about the supposed evils of sex is considered more important than protecting their health, the teen birth rate is 55 out of 1,000 girls ages 15-19. The state of New York's is less than half that, at 22.6 births. These kinds of differences aren't just a matter of sex education, especially since some schools in New York have the same kind of poor in-class sex education as schools in Mississippi. Some differences can be chalked up to the cultural values kids learn in school, at home, and in the community at large. The sex education available is simply a reflection of these kinds of community values.

Indeed. Because she overlooks an important statistic that Ross Douthat (@douthatNYT) points out for her:

Quick, what word is missing from this Amanda Marcotte piece on New York's teen birth rate vs. Mississippi's?:

Mississippi's teen pregnancy rate in 2005, per Guttmacher: 85 per 1,000 teens. New York state's: 77 per 1000.

Mississippi's abortion rate in 2005, per Guttmacher: 11 per 1,000. New York state's: 41 per 1000.

In other words, both states have a substantial teen pregnancy problem. New York "solves" it with the highest abortion rate in the U.S.A.

But by all means, Slate, give us more pieces about how the problem is Mississippi's "anti-sex radicals," w/no mention of abortion.

If only Mississippi's had NY's enlightened sex ed and liberal values, their teen pregnancy rate might be ... almost exactly the same.

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posted by Ace at 03:08 PM

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