.- The former state director of the Colorado Abstinence Education Program has attacked the media coverage of a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study about sexually transmitted diseases in teenage girls as âscientifically flawed, medically inaccurate and politically skewed.â
She also criticized the CDC study itself for following a scientifically unsound model.
In an opinion piece in the March 19 edition of the Rocky Mountain News, Carla Adams, former director of Coloradoâs federally-funded abstinence program, wrote that Planned Parenthood, Yahoo News, and ânational expertsâ used the release of a CDC report to âcreate a propaganda warâ blaming abstinence education for the increase in STDs.
The CDC recently released data from a 2004 study suggesting that one in four girls in the United States between the ages of 14 and 19 has a sexually transmitted disease.
âThese are not new findings,â Adams said. âThese data are consistent with more than a decade of findings.â
Adams claimed the CDC study was not a âscientifically sound model.â She said that although the CDC had disallowed some Colorado risk behavior data because the reports did not achieve a minimum of 1,000 randomly selected respondents, âthe reported CDC study used a sample size of 838 self-selecting participants and is being reported as a reflection of more than 3.2 million young women nationwide.â
Some anti-abstinence arguments were also flawed, according to Adams. If condoms effectively combated STD infections, she argued, the increase of condom use nationally should have reduced the rates of STD infection. âThis has not happened,â she said.
âThere is no epidemiologically sound evidence to support the assertion that condoms reduce the risk of acquiring these STDs,â Adams said, citing a National Institute of Health meta-analysis.
Adams argued that statistics showed the effectiveness of abstinence education in Colorado. âPerhaps it is time to stop throwing stones and begin looking at strategic ways to support adolescents in developing skills to delay onset of sexual activity,â Adams said.