Hypothesis are easy to generate for almost any topic. And in a surprising number of cases people are so confident in them they think testing them is pointless.
“If people carry guns there will be blood in the streets!” Nope, not really.
“A ban on ‘assault weapons’ will make people safer!” The data indicates otherwise, “the ban might reduce gunshot victimizations. This effect is likely to be small at best and possibly too small for reliable measurement.”
“The more education about sex and birth control the lower the teen pregnancy rate.” Surprise! Maybe not:
The reigning orthodoxy among public health officials is that the more government spends on sex education the fewer teen pregnancies there will be. Now, however, British researchers have found empirical evidence that appears to demonstrate the exact opposite.
In findings published in the Journal of Health Economics, Nottingham University Business School Professor David Paton and Liam Wright, a research assistant at the University of Sheffield, found budget cuts to sex education classes may have contributed to lower rates of teenage pregnancy in England.
Paton’s study compared changes in the rate of teen pregnancy with the change in the annual funding of teenage pregnancy services for 149 English local authorities between 2008 and 2014.
To their surprise, the researchers found that after sex education budgets were slashed, teen pregnancy rates fell by 42.6 percent.
Of course if you read that closely you should notice the data it is not about “more education” but “more government spending on sex education”.
I’m reminded that for many decades the USSR attempted to increase farm production and failed. While, during the same time period, the US government attempted to decrease farm production and failed.
I am of the opinion all laws intended to modify human behavior should be tested to make sure they achieve the stated benefits with minimal undesired side effects and are an effective use of resources. If they don’t, then the law should be repealed. But, as we know, politicians are more interested in increasing power and virtue signaling than in using government to improve the lives of citizens.