When I was in high school, they taught us about automobiles.
There are inherent risks in automotive transportation. So, for our education and protection, the teacher taught us abstinence. “The best way to protect yourself is not to drive or ride in cars. Stay away from compact cars, sport cars, sedans and even SUVs.” He was right, of course.
Those were valuable lessons, because later in life I always knew exactly what to do when I encountered cars: avoid them. To this day I thank the man for his wisdom and his effort which went into making me a more informed adult able to cope with my environment.
I sometimes shudder, and think of what would have happened if he had taught us driving or automobile safety. I think it would have encouraged some of the students to get in a car sometime and engage in risky behavior. You know, seat belts aren’t 100% effective in preventing injury. That’s something Detroit doesn’t want you to know, but it’s true.
Then there are the people that say “abstinence doesn’t work.” They say young people will naturally be curious about cars and will eventually try to use them or ride in them (despite being told not to), and when they do they will be without important knowledge about safety. That’s crazy talk. I mean, it’s not as though there’s some biological urge to drive. Those young adults can probably find something much more compelling than a Volkswagon Jetta to keep them busy. Like sex, for example.
So, this post was inspired by a news story someone passed along to me: Abstinence, Condom Controversy Erupts at AIDS Meet. A better title would have been Rampant Abstinence Disrupts Bangkok AIDS Meet. The person who was touting this article is anti-condom, and I thought it was funny to see this quotes within the article:
“It appears that this is naked pandering to an extremist constituency,” Sinding said.
“In an age where five million people are newly infected each year and women and girls too often do not have the choice to abstain, an abstinence until marriage program is not only irresponsible, it’s really inhumane,” Lee said
Using AIDS funding as a lever to socially engineer your beliefs is apparently “compassionate conservatism.” Of course abstinence plays a part in controlling AIDS, but the administrations policies punish those who do not agree with their approach. This ends up working for the disease, not against it.
As in other cases, the administration ignores reality infavor of ideology.Posted by James at July 13, 2004 10:43 AM