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Opinion
Noah Smith

How to Put the Chill on Teen Sex

Teaching kids about sex, and making them think about it, is a more effective way of preventing them from having sex than promoting abstinence.
This seems exciting.
This seems exciting.

Back in July, I argued that there is growing evidence that liberals have found a way to preserve traditional families in our modern, disconnected, wealthy society. Now, I'm seeing some evidence that liberals have found another way to out-tradition the traditionalists -- curbing teen sexuality in the face of modern media.

The conservative method of preventing teen sex is to tell teens not to have sex. That seems pretty straightforward, right? There's just one problem with abstinence education -- it doesn't work. This isn't a theory or a statement of my own preferences -- it's just cold, hard fact. And abstinence education may even increase teen pregnancy rates. If what you want is for teens not to have sex, you're going to have to think of a better way to make that happen.