We are doomed because myths persist, and the critical thinking skills necessary to see through myths are becoming more and more rare. Some myths – in fact, many of them, are harmless. Some can change your life; some can cause you great harm; some can kill you.
Myths about human reproduction are rampant, despite decades of assiduous effort to educate young people, both at home and in school.
When I was a boy, there was a prevalent myth that you couldn’t get a girl pregnant if you had sex standing up. The “logic” behind the myth (and there’s often some twisted “logic” behind myths) was that the magical fluid couldn’t get “up far enough” to impregnate the girl.
And it was widely believed that you could get venereal disease by using public toilets.
When my daughter was growing up in the early 90’s, there was a myth that sleeping with a bra on would give you breast cancer. I’m not sure what, if any, flawed logic was behind that one.
Yesterday, I read results of a survey of a thousand young people (aged 12-19) from across the nation, done by an outfit called “With One Voice 2010”, which I believe is part of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Although 78% of the teens surveyed say they have all the info they need to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, a third of them (34%) believe that “it doesn’t matter whether you use birth control or not, when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen.” And half (49%) admit they know little or nothing about condoms and how to use them.
We are doomed.