Shame and Ideology
March 7, 2015 7:15 PM   Subscribe

 
This whole planet would be so much better if we stopped pretending sex was only for procreational purposes.
posted by Ruki at 7:24 PM on March 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


A couple of months ago I finally came to a complete understanding about conservatives and republicans and why fact based arguments so often tend to fall on deaf ears in those camps. The thing is that they are suckers for moral arguments. People who are on welfare shouldn't use drugs, If you want to avoid STDs abstain from sex, etc. These are very simple and easy arguments to make and its not as though they are unaware that we live in a complex world and believe that there will be no consequences to hewing strongly to the moral position. They just don't care as long as the fallout doesn't effect them . Its about making sure the world holds others to account and treats them "fairly".
posted by Rubbstone at 7:31 PM on March 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


How much does it cost to do 1 hour of abstinence education for 1000 people?
How much does it cost to make 10,000 condoms?

Why can't we make this an argument about economics to prevent AIDS?
posted by hal_c_on at 7:39 PM on March 7, 2015


in other news, water wet.
posted by percor at 7:41 PM on March 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh, my! This comes as such a stunning surprise that I do believe I'm having a case of the vapors!

But seriously: kudos to Mr. Lo, and all those who helped him along the way, for undertaking the hard work to prove what most reasonable people would believe to be self-evident. And living as I do in the dark heart of the bible belt, I am sadly but absolutely certain that this information will fall on stone-deaf ears among those in the evangelical community.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 7:42 PM on March 7, 2015


We should probably just put in the New York Times article the Think Progress article links since it has its own set of juicy notes: U.S. Push for Abstinence in Africa Is Seen as Failure Against H.I.V.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:47 PM on March 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't think that most American conservatives who pushed this agenda cared if they got AIDS, or pregnant, or other diseases by having intercourse. In other words, their abstinence program may have "succeeded" on a lower level.
posted by Brian B. at 7:52 PM on March 7, 2015


I don't think that most American conservatives who pushed this agenda cared if they got AIDS, or pregnant, or other diseases by having intercourse. In other words, their abstinence program may have "succeeded" on a lower level.

The simple truth is that they never care.
posted by Rubbstone at 8:11 PM on March 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's about having plausible deniability: if you can invent a way that it is the other person's fault, then you are off the hook for having to help. Non-procreative sex, unemployment, and having a disabled family member all fall into the category of "too bad, you should have tried harder," which is a subset of "got mine, so fuck you."
posted by Dip Flash at 8:45 PM on March 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


It's exactly about blame. You set up an impossible goal, watch the people involved fail, and then hang your hat on that failure when it comes time to do anything genuinely beneficial for those people. If this were AskMe and the particulars changed up a little people would be talking about how manipulative and abusive this behavior is, but the gravitas stolen by teaching abstinence in the name of religion seems allow it to go largely unremarked.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:50 PM on March 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


You set up an impossible goal, watch the people involved fail, and then hang your hat on that failure when it comes time to do anything genuinely beneficial for those people.

This seems unfair in the context of PEPFAR. I'm not an expert on it, but my impression has been that it's generally been an immense success. Certainly it's been a largely unprecedented expenditure on fighting AIDS in Africa and one of the few feathers in GWB's cap. To assume that (Republican) congresspeople were designing it to fail doesn't quite capture the nuance of the situation. Brian B.'s notion of a different, unrealistically harsh conception of "success", I think, cuts closer to the truth.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:04 PM on March 7, 2015


I don't think that most American conservatives who pushed this agenda cared if they got AIDS, or pregnant, or other diseases by having intercourse. In other words, their abstinence program may have "succeeded" on a lower level.

I think they do just not the way normal humans would. They want people to be punished. By their way of thinking a religion that doesn't exercise control over peoples' inner lives or their intimate relationships is not much of a religion.
posted by rdr at 9:58 PM on March 7, 2015


I think they do just not the way normal humans would.

Missing word is… think? Empathize?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:42 PM on March 7, 2015


Sorry the missing word is cared as in
...this agenda cared if they got AIDS, or pregnant...
posted by rdr at 12:40 AM on March 8, 2015


Next up, we need a study showing how evangelical christian beliefs make terrible public policy.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 3:36 AM on March 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


But it worked so well in the USA.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:54 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Abstinence pledges break far more often than condoms.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:10 AM on March 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


$1.3 Billion dollars wasted. Just thrown away on a program everyone knew wouldn't work when it started, knew was entirely for political purposes. $1.3B burned on some god-botherers' fires.

I'd love to read a follow-up piece about the agencies in Africa who received this money. Interviews with the people who spent the money, the ones doing the abstinence propaganda. I have a sneaking suspicion (or hope?) that most of them knew the abstinence money would be wasted and so diverted it. Maybe not directly to condoms, but more generally to sexual health education or health care in general or something. I sure hope so.

But what I really want to read about is the sincere missionaries who spent the money on bibles and anti-masturbation tracts. And their grim resolution at being laughed at, and then their bitter tears as the people they were trying to help kept getting AIDS and dying. Maybe a few of these men and women of conscience recanted. It's one thing when your weird American religious morality causes you to believe in something slightly awkwardly at odds with the local culture's sexual practices. It's another to see your life's work trying to help people fail because your basic moral theory turns out to be actively harmful and people are dying because of it.
posted by Nelson at 8:29 AM on March 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


The areas with least sex ed = areas with highest teen pregnancy rates.
Abstention vs rape = STD and pregnancy, or injury.

Missionarying is the most damaging and delusional form of masturbation. It takes many forms and is equally harmful to indigenous populations, most harmful for the poorest and most at risk. The example above, harm by funding ignorance and avoidance of safe means, to avoid lethal disease. ISIS whose missionary zeal is only surpassed in fenetic sexual soul mayhem by their new liege pets, Boko Haram. I am willing to bet the abstinance missionaries actually end more lives in Africa than Boko Haram ever will.

The market for AIDS meds will continue to boom. Its just binness.
posted by Oyéah at 10:58 AM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


$1.3 Billion dollars wasted.

Oh totally not wasted. A bunch of preachers, writers and abstinence educators, made a crapton of money. Which was the real point of the program.
posted by happyroach at 12:59 PM on March 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Well, color me surprised!

It makes me furious to think about all the needless pain and suffering that could have been prevented.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:15 PM on March 8, 2015


Why not? It's failed at everything else too.
posted by Gelatin at 4:48 AM on March 9, 2015


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