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Sing It With Me: Cooooorelation Is Not the Same as Causation

November 20th, 2007 · No Comments

From Ann at Feministing comes an exchange on The O’Reilly Factor during which Laura Ingraham says:

I talked a lot of families, too. I never hear a mother tell her daughter that her body is dangerous. I do hear mothers tell their daughters, you’ll be better off, less likely to commit suicide, less likely to take part in drug use, if you abstain from sex during your high school years. Do you disagree that that is a good thing for girls?

First, did she really find lots of parents offering these arguments to their kids? Because I can think of lots of better reasons to put off sex than “it will make you shoot smack and then kill yourself!” Supposing she did, though, has anyone ever come up with reasons to think these other behaviors are actually somehow caused by sex, as opposed to the rather more intuitive scenario where being depressed or otherwise emotionally disturbed causes teenagers to look for ways to make themselves feel better—sex and drugs among them—or, failing that, to attempt suicide? Or, alternatively, that people who are high sometimes make bad decisions about sex, or are taken advantage of sexually—a good reason to warn your kids about intoxication, but without any obvious implications about sex itself?

Tags: Sexual Politics



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