Tell em about abstinence. Tell em about condoms. Just tell teens something! OK, I'm exaggerating for effect, but that was essentially the takeaway message by a new sex education study produced by the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that focuses on reproductive health.

Examining survey responses by 4,691 of men and women ages 15 to 24, the researchers found that sex ed of any kind (concentrating on safe sex, abstinence, or both messages) resulted in delays in first sex for both genders. Condom and birth control usage were more common among young adults who received sex ed about abstinence and birth control measures. But any kind of sex ed was deemed superior to nothing at all.

"There is an incorrect belief that talking to teens about sex promotes sex," study author Laura Lindberg, a senior research associate at Guttmacher, told Time magazine.

Teens who received sex education generally had healthier sexual encounters, the researchers concluded, and were more likely to have their first sex with partners who were in the same age range. An initial analysis of the data found that young men who received sex ed were more likely to characterize their first sex as being with meaningful, romantic partners. Young women who received sex ed were less likely to characterize their first sex as unwanted.