It’s not because the graphics are gross or way too sexy. In fact, they’re kind of cool.
That’s the problem. This is an anti-contraception campaign run by an organization called 1flesh. Their goal: spread misinformation about birth control to vulnerable young people in the hopes that they won’t use it. Classy, right? It’s like the opposite of a public service announcement.
The ladies at Jezebel have done a great job debunking the messed up fiction masquerading as fact that this group is promoting. It’s a slippery mess of half-truths and false leads that creates the impression that birth control doesn’t work, condoms don’t prevent the spread of STIs, and sex is only really, really sexy when it’s the baby-making kind. Ugh.
While they extoll the virtues of saving sex for marriage (of course), this campaign seems designed to produce a whole lot of pregnant teens.
What makes it all the more disturbing: it was designed by teens. 1flesh is a group of college students who believe “the widespread use of artificial contraception” is the primary cause of “wackness” like STIs, sexual assaults and pornography.
As Jezebel points out, these guys would be laughable if they didn’t have the potential to really mess up people’s lives. They’re exactly the kind of plucky young activists I’d love to support, except they’re advocating for a downright dangerous cause.
It’s amazing to me that in the 21st century, we’re still engaged in a debate about the efficacy and benefits of birth control. Yes, the perfect form of birth control still eludes us. Just about every available method has some problems or common side effects. That doesn’t mean we should never use it. This repackaging of a lot of bad ideas in a form palatable for college students isn’t going to lead to a lot of happy young people launching down the path of satisfying lifelong monogamous marriages, happily having kid after kid like the Duggars. There are a few families that lifestyle works for, sure.
But for most people, buying into this abstinence-based ideaology is only going to lead to trouble. There’s plenty of research showing that abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t work. Repackaging it with hip graphics won’t fix that problem. I really hope my teenager never sees this, but I’m pretty sure that if he does, he won’t be taken in by it. I just hope his peers are equally fortunate.