they won’t release the data from which they drew that conclusion, nor the analysis showing how they got there.  They say they have their reasons…

A spokeswoman from the CDC told that it is standard procedure for the agency not to release the complete data used by the task force to make recommendations on a range of issues, including adolescence health.

“Before CDC releases information to the public, it must go through the CDC’s scientific clearance process to ensure not only that the underlying data are accurate, but also that 1) it is presented in a manner that is clear and not prone to misinterpretation, and 2) any inferences drawn from the data are defensible,” spokeswoman Karen Hunter said.

She also said that all of the data will eventually be released when it is published in a “peer-reviewed journal,” which can take as long as one year.

Which begs the question, helpfully asked by CNS News:

When asked by how recommendations can be made before the data are proved to be “accurate” and “defensible,” Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, chairman of the task force and county director of Public Health, and health officer for the county of Los Angeles Department of Health Services, said he is “very comfortable” with the recommendations.

Well that make me feel better, or comfortable, eh?

There are a couple of folks on this 15-member task force, however that don’t support the findings.  They’ve come out against the non-release of the data and the methodology.

“We are concerned that the study averaged together the results of [Comprehensive Sex Education] programs that were very different from each other, such as programs in STD
clinics and programs in school classrooms, without identifying which kind of programs were effective,” [Irene] Ericksen told

“Doing this had the effect of glossing over the lack of results for the CSE programs in the schools, which is the setting where most teens receive sex ed,” Ericksen added.

“These programs did not significantly increase condom use, or reduce teen pregnancy or STDs,” Ericksen said. “To avoid comparing apples and oranges, a more meaningful study would have been a meta-analysis of school-based programs.”

This is almost like ClimateGate with doctors instead of climate scientists.  No transparency, just findings. 

Filed under: EducationMedicine

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