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Shocking: "Keep Your Legs Crossed, Sluts" Sex-Ed Strategy Fails

The U.S. government has spent more than $1.5 billion on abstinence programs. What a terrible waste.

Shockingly, the "Keep your legs crossed, sluts!" sex-ed strategy is an epic failure.

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.

The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.

I suppose abstinence-only education has one thing going for it: It threatens that sex will bring disease and unwanted pregnancy, and for abstinence-pledgers, that threat is more likely to be realized.

Jill Filipovic is a New York freelance writer and a law student at NYU. More of her writing is available at her blog, Feministe.

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