In a very thoughtful post, TigerHawk links to a NYT article claiming that the best way to ensure that young people don't go overboard with alcohol is to model and explain the appropriate societal expectations--that alcohol is to be enjoyed but not abused. That view seems reasonable to me.
But it got me thinking. Regarding alcohol, in our schools we we teach the equivalent of abstinence. Alcohol is bad and is to be avoided at all costs. Why do we teach abstinence for alcohol, but, often in the very same health course, teach not sexual abstinence but so-called safe sex?
I'm not suggesting that schools teach "safe drinking" =) What I am suggesting is that schools should be teaching abstinence in both arenas, and parents should decide whether or not they want to teach "safe drinking" or "safe sex" to their children.