Teens Will Be Teens

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

In her Dec. 28 letter, "The Wisdom in Supporting Abstinence," Fran Vanbrocklin of Olney felt compelled to ask:

"Exactly what is wrong with teaching abstinence and abstinence only to our youths?"

I feel compelled to reply: You can teach it. You can preach it. You can proselytize, and you can exemplify. You can cajole and bribe, threaten and chide, and advocate till you're blue in the face. You can just lay out the facts and hope for the best.

Still, over the millennia, no civilization has yet devised a model for dissuading significant numbers of teenagers from having sex, certainly not to the overwhelming percentage necessary for abstinence-only to be an effective approach.

JOSEPH BRANSCOMB

Falls Church


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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