Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Abstinence-based confusion

Occasionally, abstinence-based education programs include some really weird things. Among these are the claim that HIV can be spread by sweat and tears and that 10% of women who have abortions become sterile. But the thing that struck me as creepiest was this:

Some course materials cited in Waxman's report present as scientific fact notions about a man's need for "admiration" and "sexual fulfillment" compared with a woman's need for "financial support." One book in the "Choosing Best" series tells the story of a knight who married a village maiden instead of the princess because the princess offered so many tips on slaying the local dragon. "Moral of the story," notes the popular text: "Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."

Note to any princesses who might be reading: TELL ME HOW TO KILL THE DRAGON. Tell me in excruciating and redundant detail if need be. I'll survive, you'll look smart, the dragon will be dead, and I'll get to hear you talk more, which turns me on. Or, hey, if you're better at killing dragons than me, I'll be content with doing the dishes and freeing up your time for more monster slayage. Good men don't let gender roles get in the way of utility-maximization.


Anonymous said...

Comment to both princes:
Why aren't there more like you?! Unfortunately, there seem to be far more outspoken princesses than men willing to break the rules of gender roles. Ah well. Keep up the dishwashing and we'll continue the dragon slaying ;)

Anonymous said...

Useful dragon-killing tips would always be appreciated. Of course, I would generally like to know *why* I'm supposed to kill the dragon. I mean, has it been bothering anyone? Can we at least try to talk to the dragon?

Neil Sinhababu said...

the assumption being made here is that the dragon is eating or otherwise bothering people. Your point is a good one though and should not be neglected.