Sunday, 29 March 2009

Just because they won't listen...

... is no reason to stay silent.

The Advertising Standards Agency is conducting a consultation on their decision (oh, sorry, it's just a proposal at the moment, I'm sure no decision has been taken prior to the consultation... of course I am...) to allow the promotion of abortions via television advertising, and the further promotion of the condom culture.

My Heart Was Restless tells you all you need to know about the proposals, and in particular how to respond.

These people don't seem to understand Open Systems Theory, a well-known way of analysing how actions may have results contrary to their intentions.

A classic example is using antibiotics to treat diseases. In the short term, it works (which is why we do it) but in the longer term we risk creating diseases which are resistant to antibiotics.

Likewise, the welfare system: in the short-term it prevents immediate, acute poverty, but in the long term it creates a culture of chronic poverty, handed on from generation to generation.

And so the condom: on each individual occasion of condom use, it may reduce (but certainly not eliminate) the risk of HIV. However, the promotion of condoms creates a culture in which young people (in particular) come to believe that recreational sex is normative and socially approved behaviour. This leads, (and has clearly and demonstrably led) to vast increases in early promiscuous sexual activity, leading to far higher rates of teenage pregnancy and STIs.

Likewise, the provision of 'sexual health services' free of any stigma (non-judgemental etc), intended (at best) to reach that small minority of young people who are promiscuous in every generation, has de-stigmatised and normalised what used to be rare and socially disapproved behaviour, contributing to the same problem.

And yet the establishment, in blind oblivion, and continuing to proclaim their rhetoric of 'evidence-based practice' ignore both the evidence (huge increases in STIs, ever-growing teenage pregnancy rates etc) and the sound theoretical explanations for that evidence, and instead say: the policy's not working: we must do more of the same...

So, in a triumph of hope over experience, I exhort you to take part in this consultation, and tell them why their thinking is so fatally flawed.

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