Sex-ed study in the BMJ

There is an editorial article by Trevor Stammers in the current issue of the British Medical Journal entitled "Sexual Health in Adolescents". This link gives you the first 150 words of the article. (A reader kindly sent me the whole article.)
UPDATE: Joee has the whole article on his blog.

Stammers comments on a research report (available free online), published in the same issue by Henderson et al., looking at the impact of a sex-ed programme on "registered conceptions and terminations." The study found that the sex-ed had no measurable impact on these outcomes. Stammers comments:
Henderson and colleagues stress the need for more comprehensive approaches that incorporate the influence of parents on sexual experience in teenagers, and to improve the future life opportunities for vulnerable young people. The false assumption that “young teens will have sex anyway” is an insult to many young people who have the capacity to rise to a far more effective challenge than just “use a condom every time.”
He also makes the pertinent observation:

Blanket assertions that abstinence programmes “don’t work” abound.w10 Ironically, however, the only randomised trial of school sex education identified by the SHARE team to use clinical data on pregnancies was of an abstinence only programme that resulted in a significant reduction of pregnancies.

(Reference: Cabezon C, Vigil P, Rojas I, Leiva ME, Riquelme R, Aranda W, et al. Adolescent pregnancy prevention: an abstinence-centred randomized controlled intervention in a Chilean public high school. J Adolesc Health 2005;36:64-9.)

The statement of "competing interests", tells us that Stammers is a trustee of Family Education Trust and Challenge Teams UK; charities that provide abstinence centred sex education packages to secondary schools in the UK. He is also a (volunteer) web doctor for Love for Life, the largest provider of abstinence centred sex education to schools in Northern Ireland.

What a great bloke!

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