Pat Robertson Supports Birth Control! But Bill O’Reilly Wants Jay Z to Preach Abstinence
O’Reilly thinks the way to go is peer pressure to discourage young women from getting pregnant, and his big idea is to use Jay Z, whom he describes as the “100 million dollar man,” to exert this pressure.
O’Reilly does have a point buried in his rant. Peer pressure and perception of what peers are doing sexually does, in fact, influence behavior. For example, studies have shown that young people who believe their peers are using condoms are more likely to do so themselves. Research has also found that peer education is often more effective than programs delivered by adults. One such study compared HIV programs led by peers to those led by adults andfound that “peer counselors produced greater attitude changes in teens’ perception of personal risk of HIV infection.”
But a message of “don’t have sex” that seems to be directed almost exclusively at African-American young women is offensive, and, as Carville points out, unlikely to be effective. The federal government already tried promoting abstinence-only-until-marriage to the tune of$176 million per year at its peak, and there is no evidence that it was even remotely effective. In fact, the federal government’s own review of some of the “best” abstinence-only-until-marriage programs concluded:
Findings indicate that youth in the program group were no more likely than control group youth to have abstained from sex and, among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of sexual partners and had initiated sex at the same mean age.
Of course, to O’Reilly’s credit, none of these programs involved Jay Z.