Some social liberals used a recently published study in Reproductive Health that found a strong link between high religiosity and teen pregnancy rates to further their case for why abstinence-only sex education doesn't work.

Double XX, Mother Jones, Bonnie Erbe at U.S. News & World Report, and Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic say the results of "Religiosity and Teen Birth Rates"—which found higher teen birth rates in the most religiously conservative states, even after controlling for differences in income and abortions—point to conservatives' hypocrisy on family values. The researchers, father-daughter team Joseph and Jillian Strayhorn, speculated that perhaps teens in highly religious states are more likely to become pregnant because they are less likely to know about or use contraception. Jillian's work went toward fulfilling an advanced home-schooling course in statistics, roughly equivalent to a sophomore college course in regression analytics. (Dr. Strayhorn noted that "ironically, one or two of the bloggers I read who used our article to slam religion also slammed home-schooling.")

After reading such interpretations, Her.meneutics regular Christine A. Scheller decided to interview Dr. Strayhorn, associate professor of psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine.

You said that your research "has already made many people angry." What about it has provoked such hostility?

The three topics most likely to anger people are sex, religion, and politics, and our article concerns all three. Various people have said that it's bad research, not worth the money of whoever funded it, ignorant, biased, and so forth. Many critics dismissed the findings as a result of fewer abortions in more religious states, or of ...

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