Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Crude radio adverts

As you may know, I drive quite a bit. Rather than listen to music on CDs, I like to flick between radio stations, including local commercial ones. Over the last month or so, I've been genuinely shocked at the bombardment young people are getting of sexual health/contraception adverts on the wireless.

Slogans like "Want respect? Use a condom" have been prominent particularly over Christmas. Some of them have used rather crude language, using actors at a party who discuss sex. One station, Galaxy 105 in Yorkshire, has a whole programme dedicated to devoting a large majority of adverts to sexual health advice, chlamydia testing and promoting breast enlargements (with the slogan "My body, my choice)". But many others whose audience is very much the teenager/20s bracket are also culprits.

One of the websites promoted in these adverts is "r u thinking?" Here we have the "lad pad" and the "lady lounge". From the content, you can clearly see this site is targeted at vulnerable adolescents. The whole thrust of the website is to promote the (false) notion of safe-sex. One of the pieces of advise for lads is: "Sex rocks when both people like each other and feel ready – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise."

In the "Why am I gay" section of the lady lounge, the website says: "You don’t choose your sexuality - it chooses you. No one knows what makes people gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight, but its normal and you deserve to be with someone you love, whoever that is." O dear...

Once your ready for sex, get the condoms out, the advice says. "Condoms stop your girlfriend getting pregnant and protect you from STIs," the 'how does a condom work?' section outlines. This is just one example of how this mysterious "independent teenage pregnancy unit" misleads young people. We all know through that 20 years of the same government policies of promoting confidential sexual advise and contraception, including access to the morning after pill, has done nothing to cut teenage pregnancies and has actually led to the numbers of STI infections to rocket.

I've recently been reading The Case Against Condoms, published by Human Life International (2006). It is largely written by the late Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, the former president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Responding to his misrepresentation on - you guessed it - the BBC programme Sex and the Holy City (2003), Trujillo exposes the lies of "safe sex" and the condom as a 100 per cent protection tool against STIs.

He finds that even the International Planned Parenthood Federation admits the use of condoms only reduces the total risk of contracting AIDS, for instance, between unprotected sex and complete sexual abstinence by 70 per cent. A failure rate of 30 per cent is pretty high when dealing with the potentially mortal disease of AIDS.

He argues there is no 100 per cent protection from the AIDS virus through the use of condoms because numerous studies have shown “certain permeability” through the latex as the virus is 450 times smaller than the sperm cell. Studies show that as the number of condoms distributed increases, the number of HIV/AIDS cases increases. Two studies found that regular use of condoms prevented the contraction of the AIDS virus by 85 per cent, Trujillo found. Therefore claims that contraception categorically prevents STIs are unfounded. People, especially vulnerable and confused teenagers, have the right to accurate information when it comes to things so serious as these.

I long for the day, although I've no idea when it will come, when the radio advert will not say "Want respect? Use a condom", but "Want respect? Say no". But until the government and the NHS insist on giving the abstinence message the cold shoulder, our young people will continue to be bombarded with these attacks on their childhood.

It's the Catholic Church that has the answer protecting children from STIs and restoring sex to a procreative act within marriage. The answer is to strengthen the family and restore the true meaning of human loving in our society today.

1 comment:

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

I've heard some of the adverts...i feel like crashing the car!