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Comment on this entry

Dramatic Drop In Teen Pregnancy Really a Technology Tipping Point


Valerie Tarico


Ethical Technology

November 09, 2012

By now many Americans have read the basics: 9000 St. Louis women are offered their choice of contraceptives for free. Two years later, the teen birthrate rate is at 6 per 1000 instead of the country average of 34. The abortion rate is 4.4 to 7.5 per 1000, less than half the rate of other St. Louis women.


...

Complete entry


COMMENTS



Posted by Henry Bowers  on  11/13  at  12:37 PM

Interesting that “technology change takes a village,” and yet the “level of knowledge, self-awareness, control and communication” required to stay dressed in appropriate situations “is beyond most people.”

(1) Why sell humanity short?  We’re expected to exercise self-control against commiting rape, theft, overeating, and general rudeness.  To throw the rest of sexuality under the bus as beyond us is disingenuous.

(2) To believe girls incapable of self-control, and to expect no improvement from the boys, is to cast America into a slavery on par with Auschwitz and the American South.





Posted by O__3  on  11/13  at  09:30 PM

“To believe girls incapable of self-control, and to expect no improvement from the boys, is to cast America into a slavery on par with Auschwitz and the American South.”

Did I really just read that? Are you mansplaining birth control to people by comparing the alleged ethical dimensions of its use to genocide and the slave trade? I say ‘alleged’ because there is no actual reason to think LARCs imply that women and men have no self-control. Or is the ‘improvement’ you expect in boys in an area other than self-control, since you juxtapose the two genders?

That aside, I’m also not sure why you set up a similar juxtaposition between that assertion that technology change takes a village and the assertion that birth control by the use of timing methods, withdrawal, and abstinence (what you disingenuously reframe as simply ‘staying dressed’—yes, I am sure married couples trying to share the intimacy of sex without getting pregnant just need to stay dressed while they do it) require a level of knowledge, self-awareness, control and communication that is beyond most people. The two assertions have nothing to do with each other. For the sake of your humanity, I can only hope you’re having fun trolling and not, in fact, so abysmally lacking in knowledge, self-awareness, communication skills and most importantly the control required to refrain from making irrelevant and offensive comments.





Posted by Henry Bowers  on  11/14  at  12:17 PM

Staying dressed might be the easiest way to succeed during the NFP abstinence period, so I don’t see your point.  The author has erred by placing NFP in the same genus as contraception by calling them both “birth control”.  Contraception implies no control:  I am at the mercy of Group I carcinogens, risky implants, and dehumanizing shots, precisely because one appetite—sex—is so unpopular (pun intended) to control.  As Chesterton pointed out, it’s real name should be “Birth Prevention.”  But that won’t sell well.

Contraception is intrinsically evil, a grave evil, whether its users are religious or not, because it entails a contra-life will; because of the untold good of a human life coming-to-be (for only rational creatures can perform the laudably good), it is always against all reason to oppose the coming-to-be of human life; once human life is recognized to be an irreducible good — good for it’s own sake, and for which we run out of reasons to pursue and sustain it — it becomes against all reason to oppose such a good.  Contraception is a deliberate act, separate from the coital act, which intends to oppose the coming-to-be of a child.  NFP, on the other hand, can (but doesn’t necessarily) oppose the bad consequences of welcoming an additional child, when welcoming an additional child would be against all reason.  If there are no such consequences, however, NFP = contraception = evil.  The distinction to highlight is that contraception actively wills a good not to come-to-be, while NFP properly practiced simply doesn’t will a good to come-to-be.  When the child is conceived despite contraception, he exists in a hated position, which is unreasonable; the parents must change their attitude toward him if he is to survive abortion and abuse; with NFP, however, the parents need not change their attitude, since the child was never opposed or hated in the first place, but simply not-willed; his arrival is a surprise, albeit a hardship, but not directly contrary to the NFP choice for abstinence during fertile periods.

Withdrawl is a form of contraception, an active opposition to the coming-to-be of life, instead of an opposition the coming-to-be of new baby consequences.  I defend my slavery comment because women are enslaved to the chemical and men-behaving-badly, as I mentioned, which insults their intelligence, their powers, and the brilliance of femininity, but moreover all of society will be enslaved when we decide that forced contraception before age 21 just makes good economic sense, as does forced sterilization after the 2nd baby, and that any attempts to protect women from this commodization is mysogynistic, and any attempt to help men act virtuously is a hate-crime.





Posted by Intomorrow  on  11/14  at  06:53 PM

Well, we’ve got a rich mix at IEET: you, Henry, march to the beat of a different drummer. What you don’t get is how with all the mess sexuality causes, it still provides a nexus; religion can provide the nomos but not necessarily a nexus.





Posted by Henry Bowers  on  11/15  at  02:13 PM

If events in the life of Christ are what they’re claimed to be, they’re a nexus par excellence.

Now, don’t scold me for mentioning religion, Intomorrow, because I’m following your lead.  smile





Posted by Intomorrow  on  11/15  at  04:39 PM

“If events in the life of Christ are what they’re claimed to be, they’re a nexus par excellence.”


If only 1,975 years later Christ’s flock would beat their swords into plowshares then Christ would not have died in vain.
I think of sex as I do holidays: we don’t know what life would be like without holidays so we retain them; in the same way we don’t know what life would be without escapist sexuality: would men kill more women or hit them harder because they cannot have sex with them as much? It is an open question. You may have noticed there’s a linkage between sex and violence, and sex and death.





Posted by Intomorrow  on  11/16  at  02:37 PM

Henry,
am going to proceed on the assumption you really want to communicate on this- not merely pontificate. What we possibly share is a focus on the negative; can’t speak for you and even if we knew each other it wouldn’t be right to presume one could read your inner thoughts.

I’m negative due to backward-lookingness, thinking that there’s no hard evidence life can be better—only different (however when life is radically upgraded the meaning of life changes which changes my premises on life.. a topic for another discussion). But I do not think we can ever live in a virtuous world, a virtuous substrate, and if I did think we could live in a state of virtue, be truly moral, then religion would be a waste of time. Yet since we wont IMO know virtue, true virtue as we define it at this time, I take religion/spirituality seriously as escapism if nothing else because in an unvirtuous substrate escaping from unseemly realities is valid. And unfortunately for a prudish outlook, sex is escapist as well and ought to be taken seriously for that reason. One can’t escape escapism!
Realistic would be attempting, perhaps not succeeding in any way, but trying nevertheless to ameliorate the negative consequences of sexuality. By your own lights, though, men are so rebellious that even a mild attempt in lessening negative consequences of sexuality results in a greater interest in pursuing reckless behavior (call such behavioral brinkmanship).





Posted by Henry Bowers  on  12/14  at  05:19 PM

I understand how sex could be a form of escapism, but let me ask this:  if we had the chance to hook our bodies to a machine that simulated real-life achievements, pleasure, hard work, and victory, keeping us unconsciously suspended from the outside world for the rest of our lives, would any of us voluntarily connect to it?  And if anyone did, would the rest of us esteem him?  I think only the saddest of us would answer “yes” to either option, and this shows that we inherently value what is fulfilling and perfective of man; and I’m not sure the instrumentalization of sex advances us in that perfection:  otherwise there would be no such thing as sexist jokes, or disappointed young women who feel duped, or men who notice with growing terror the power of their addictions.





Posted by Intomorrow  on  12/15  at  03:16 PM

Well, Henry, no one can accuse you of being too liberal- wont catch you placing flowers on Ted Kennedy’s grave.

“let me ask this:  if we had the chance to hook our bodies to a machine that simulated real-life achievements, pleasure, hard work, and victory, keeping us unconsciously suspended from the outside world for the rest of our lives, would any of us voluntarily connect to it?”

Yes; old people, the paralyzed, cripples, etc. Not everybody is in good physical condition, and as the line in the song goes:
“when you’ve got nothing you’ve got nothing to lose.”





Posted by Intomorrow  on  12/15  at  04:30 PM

...“And if anyone did, would the rest of us esteem him?  I think only the saddest of us would answer ‘yes’ to either option”


If it were someone you cared about, someone in your family, you would esteem him or her. When it comes to those you care about, all of a sudden you are a transhumanist. When it comes to someone you care about, you advocate spending large amounts to keep them alive longer via advanced medicine.






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