Recent Texas A&M University Study Reviewed by The Medical Institute (2/05)

Researchers at Texas A&M University entered into a contract with the Texas Department of Health to evaluate abstinence programs and recently released their findings. Unfortunately, however, only a small number of programs were included in the study. The researchers at Texas A&M, when interviewd by the media, suggested that the programs were not accomplishing anything of significance. The Medical Institute has done an in-depth evaluation of the entire study as reported below. We feel there are great problems with the Texas A&M research itself and some surprisingly positive implications that were completely overlooked. Below please find our technical report. We hope you will find it useful.  — The Medical Institute Abstinence Education Evaluation — Technical Report Patricia Goodson, BE Pruitt et al. September 2004. Texas A&M University.  A comparison of the recent Texas A&M Abstinence Education Evaluation Phase 5 Report to its extensive press coverage underscores the pervasive media bias against abstinence education.  What is being presented as a scientific study showing failure of abstinence education is actually not scientific at all.  And a careful examination shows that it is the study, rather than abstinence education, that is a dismal failure.  This “study” is riddled with methodologic flaws and data misinterpretations, and — to paraphrase a famous Texan — is shakier than school-lunch jello.   This study involved fewer than 750 of the state’s students, drawn from just 20 of the more than 3,200 schools in Texas.  Though this might have been acceptable had the sample been well selected, the researchers totally ignored generally accepted scientific criteria requiring study participants to be randomly selected if the results are ever to...