Well, not really. But as Maia Szalavitz makes clear in her latest Time Magazine piece, he might as well have done so.
Califano, and his shocktoids have been a regular topic of derision here at Drug WarRant.
The latest shows correlation between teens who use social networking sites and the use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.
In a statement accompanying the release of the report, CASA founder Joe Califano writes, “The results are profoundly troubling. This year’s survey reveals how the anything goes, free-for-all world of Internet expression, suggestive television programming and what-the-hell attitudes put teens at sharply increased risk of substance abuse.”
However, as with much of the center’s previous work, the research methods used here cannot actually determine whether social media causes increased substance use or whether the association is simply related to a third factor, such as teens’ concern about their social status or conversely, having strict parents.
Maia properly ridicules his baseless alarmism.
A recent study, for example, finds an inverse correlation between a penile length and a country’s gross domestic product â€” nations that averaged smaller penis sizes had faster economic growth than countries with larger penises between 1960 and 1985 â€” but no one seriously believes that penis reduction will solve our economic problems.
Likewise, even if it were possible to stop teens from using social networks â€” or for adults to truly monitor teen Facebook use â€” the odds that this would reduce drug use are low.