Free-Floating Hostility

Thursday, December 09, 2004

On Red State hypocrisy

I'll admit that in the immediate aftermath of the election, when all we heard about were "values voters" in the red states, I took some solace in the fact that "Massachusetts values" actually meant staying married and waiting until after child-fondling scoundrels. But as satisfying as pointing out hypocrisy on the right is, it's starting to get a little old.

Identifying the liars is important. But the more vital challenge over the next four years is dealing with the implications of these lies. On Sunday, Senate majority leader and licensed physician Bill Frist said that HIV could be transmitted through tears and sweat. That comes on the heels of a congressional report citing abstinence-only sex education textbooks that offer such gems as

? A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person."
? HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.
? Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.
One curriculum, called "Me, My World, My Future," teaches that women who have an abortion "are more prone to suicide" and that as many as 10 percent of them become sterile. This contradicts the 2001 edition of a standard obstetrics textbook that says fertility is not affected by elective abortion, the Waxman report said.

The issue is not hypocrisy as much as it is lying. In terms of sex education, abstinence clearly is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and disease. Most kids actually know that, making it stupid to lie about it. Kids don't listen to statistics. They listen to their friends. And friends tell them that sex between teenage virgins who are drunk and have no real feelings for each other is always an awesome, life-affirming experience. Those are the same friends that tell them that smoking is cool, school is optional, and that the speed limit for teenagers in actually 85 mph.

I took a health class in high school that included the dreaded "STD Slideshow," which did things like show you what Gonorrhea did to the human body. It was a right of passage as Cass Tech High School, but I don't believe that it ever had any effect on behavior. Anyone with an elementary knowledge of television soap opera knows that misinformation always has dire consequences. Or at least, it makes the teachers sound stupid.

I think somewhere along the line conservative people either got the idea that schools using the Kama Sutra as a textbook and teaching tantric sex, or they willfully deluded themselves into believing that. The point is that teaching the truth the children, arming them with the information they need to make good choices, is a Blue State value.

0 Comment(s):

Post a Comment