Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Abstinence only programmes do not change sexual behaviour, Texas study shows

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 10 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:326

Rapid Response:

Research or propaganda?

Without a control group surely this research is virtually meaningless?

Even a comparison with rates of intercourse before and after comprehensive sex education in another state would give some comparison to get these figures into a meaningful perspective? If no comparison group could be found in the whole of Texas, surely this is a major methodological flaw in this whole study?

Has it been published in a peer-reviewed journal and if not,why has the very interesting (but also "in-house") material on US abstinence education on, which offers a cogent critique of the study, not been featured in this news item also?

Competing interests: Trustee of Family Education Trust

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 February 2005
Trevor Stammers
Honorary Senior Tutor in General Practice, St George's Hospital Medical School
SW17 0RE