The statistic that wouldn't die

oneinfour 01So I'm reading Washington Post reporter Rob Stein's article on the latest frightening report to come from the Centers for Disease Control and Research. The latest report is that efforts to get teenagers to delay sex and use condoms is "faltering." But by frightening and faltering, they mean that the data suggest we've hit something of a plateau after years of improvements. Anyway, I come across this paragraph:

Coming on the heels of reports that one in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease and that the teen birth rate has increased for the first time in 15 years, the data is triggering alarm across the ideological spectrum.

I'll just quote the subhead from the National Journal article we discussed this week:

Does one of every four American teenagers really have a sexually transmitted disease? No, despite headlines given to a recent federal study.

Somehow I think that this one-in-four statistic will prove very hard to kill.

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