Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Proof the propaganda is working

More than half of parents of teenagers probably know less than their own kids about contraception. Odds are they are lying to themselves, victims of the "wishing makes it so" thinking that is sweeping this country. They don't want their kids to have sex so they have convinced themselves what they most want to hear is true. The correlation between political beliefs and ignorance backs me up some on this:

Parents who said they were very politically conservative tended to have less accurate beliefs about how well condoms work than liberal parents. This finding suggests that political beliefs may influence knowledge about contraception, Eisenberg noted.

What scares me about this in particular is that the majority of people who have teenagers now are the first generation to spend their young adulthood of late teens and twenties under the specter of AIDS. They know damn well how HIV transmission rates could have ended up killing us all if widespread condom use hadn't become the norm. Now in middle age they are beginning to gloat and lie to themselves.
The scary thing is that the push towards sexual ignorance does affect more than people who are lying to themselves and their children. It's harder to get good information than it should be, and even people who are willing to be educated sometimes have huge gaps in their thinking. I have heard smart, educated, sexually aware, pro-choice people make mistakes such as confusing hysterectomies and tubal litigations, who think that men actually have their testicles removed instead of a quick snip for vasectomies, who didn't know that you need lube for condom use, and who believed that the pill causes cancer.
Overall better education is clearly necessary. It shouldn't be controversial. If you want to believe that contraception is wrong, then that's your choice. But whether or not it works is not a "belief"--it's a fact. It's ridiculous to believe that spreading lies is a holy or moral thing to do. If your beliefs against contraception are firm, they will survive the knowledge that it actually does what it claims to do.
I may be wrong, but I suspect that while various religions have various teachings on contraception, most frown very strongly on lying, even if you think you're doing it to further god's will. It certainly doesn't say much for your moral codes if you feel you have to trick people into following them with threats and lies.

Via The People's Democratic Republic of Ross.


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