Abstinence Only and Drinking a Cap of Bleach

Atrios had a link to this story from an Orlando station the other day:

A recent survey that found some Florida teens believe drinking a cap of bleach will prevent HIV and a shot of Mountain Dew will stop pregnancy has prompted lawmakers to push for an overhaul of sex education in the state.

The survey showed that Florida teens also believe that smoking marijuana will prevent a person from getting pregnant.State lawmakers said the myths are spreading because of Florida’s abstinence-only sex education, Local 6 reported.

They are proposing a bill that would require a more comprehensive approach, the report said.It would still require teaching abstinence but students would also learn about condoms and other methods of birth control and disease prevention.

Normally, here at Angry Bear we’re big on testing things, but here’s something I don’t have data for, so please indulge me if I try going the conjecture route this time. My guess is that in the subset of teens that did not have what most of us think of as sex-ed, those that had abstinence only education are probably more likely to believe stuff like this. My guess is that those who are told nothing will spend some time on the internet trying to learn about the birds and the bees, and at least some of them will stumble on some useful information. Why do I think this? Well, my guess is that teenagers don’t spend all that much time searching online for more on what they just took in trig class. Those who look for information are the ones who don’t think they’re getting it, and teens taking an abstinence only class or a class that says having-sex-means-you’re-evil presumably are more likely to think they’re learning something about sex than those who don’t have a sex-ed class at all.