11 November 2006

And the aim of this campaign is . . . surely not promiscuity

Re: Condom call for young 'on pull'. BBC News. 11 Nov 2006.

While I agree that advocating the use of condoms is a wise measure, especially to prevent stds, the way this is being gone about in this BBC article is questionable. There are new sexual freedoms in society today that just weren't there 30 years ago. Although this article claims not to be advocating promiscuity, it also says,

"The aim of this campaign is to make carrying and using a condom among this age group as familiar as carrying a mobile phone, lipstick or putting on a seat-belt."

So there is a dual message here, not just about STIs and condoms, but about sex itself.

If that isn't encouraging promiscuity, then what is? Practically all young people carry a mobile phone, and I would imagine most young women wear lipstick when they go clubbing. Surely, encouraging all young men and women of that age group to always carry condoms, just as they always carry their phone, could be seen as encouraging them to be promiscuous. The message is that they carry condoms EVERYWHERE, as they woud a mobile phone, and not just when they are out clubbing The wording creates an association between lipstick and sex, and between cellphones and sex, familiar objects in our world, not just when people go clubbing, but ALL THE TIME.

The following statement is from the article: "This is not about encouraging promiscuity, but saying to those who are already sexually active: sex without a condom is seriously risky, so always use one." But that does not reflect what is actually being told to young people in the rest of the article.

The aim of this article would actually seem to be to get young people to carry condoms as they would some of the most familar and well-used items they have (regardless of whether they expect or would choose to be sexually active, and regardless of whether they are going clubbing or going to work). Carry your condoms as you would your mobile phone, is the message it is giving out.

So how about this line instead:

*"The aim of this campaign is to make carrying and using a condom for some men and women in this age group as familiar as eating cereal for breakfast. "*

Using this analogy might help lessen the idea that all women and men are as eager and willing to engage in sex as they are to talk on their cellphone, and might help in lessening pregnancies that come about from some kinds of sexual encounters.

Condom call for young 'on pull' BBC News 11 Nov 06
Young adults are to be urged to carry condoms when they are out "on the pull", as part of a government sexual health campaign.
It will focus on 18 to 24-year-olds. Just 20% of people in this age group say they carry condoms on a night out.     continues at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6132822.stm

Link updated April 18, 2012