Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It Has Nothing To Do With Fate

Well.  I came across some disturbing poll results today.  The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy did a little polling and if their results are even a little bit indicative of what is going on out there, they really have their work cut out for them.  Before I get to the part that will have you wanting to jump out of a high window, I want to mention that while this organization may sound like they're all about the teenagers, it doesn't seem like that's all too accurate.  The people that they polled were grown-ass adults, ranging in age from 18-29.  And actually, that makes the results even more frightening. 

Participants in this survey were asked if they agreed with this statement:  “It doesn’t matter whether you use contraception or not; when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen."  I would like to take this opportunity to point out that these questions were asked recently and this isn't archival data from the 1700s.  This was done in 2011 and again, with grown-ass adults.  That's why it scares the bejeezus out of me that four in ten actually agreed with that statement.  Wait.  Wait.  WAIT! 

Were these people not privy to the ol' very basic sex education classes that I sat through in high school?  Just the beginning part of that question "It doesn't matter whether you use contraception or not" makes me cringe.  Of course it matters!  That's why it exists!  It's contraception!  It's purpose it to be used and then to subsequently prevent pregnancy after you have all the sex!  But four out of ten morons believe that it's just fate?!  Doesn't matter what you do.  If it's going to happen, it's going to happen?!  Uhhh, I honestly don't know what to say about that.  Forty percent is a little too close to half for my liking.  Fate.  OK, then.  Moving on...

Here's another one:  "Thinking about your life right now, how important is it to you to avoid getting pregnant/getting someone pregnant?"  This was asked of unmarried young adults aged 18-29.  Again, grown-ass people.  72% said that it was very important.  That's good.  You know what's not good?  The other people who answered.  Only 12% said that it was "somewhat important".  How is that even a choice when you're talking about getting pregnant or not?  16% had some sort of a variation of it not being important to them.  The parameters of the survey do not outline whether or not it was a requirement that participants in the survey be sexually active, but I can't imagine why they would want people who are not having sex to be a part of this survey.  If you're not having sex, the problem of unplanned and unwanted pregnancy has nothing to do with you.  So if I am to assume that those 16% that don't give a crap are currently sexually active, then I'm a little more than just concerned that they don't give a crap.  Those are the kind of people that I want studied at great lengths. 

Explain this to me:   "Fully 94% of unmarried young adults 18-29 say they have all the information they need to avoid having or causing an unplanned pregnancy."  BUT "11% say they know “little or nothing” about condoms, 42% say they know “little or nothing” about birth control pills, and 73% say they know “little or nothing” about IUDs. HOW are you between the ages of 18 and 29 and know "little or nothing" about condoms?!  I can kind of understand the IUD thing, but only because it's not talked about or mentioned as much as the other two.  But condoms?  What sort of grown-ass adult knows nothing about a condom?!  I wish that they broke that answer down by age.  Then again, maybe I don't.  If I found out that it was mostly 29-year olds that answered the question that way, I'd have to start walling off my walled off compound again.  I cannot be part of a society where people who are almost thirty know nothing about condoms.  I just can't! 

Then there's this:  19% of the people surveyed answered 'Yes' to this:  “There is so much negative stuff said about birth control that it makes me feel I’m better off/my partner is better off just not using it.”  Negative stuff?  More negative than having a child that you're not ready for (and apparently have no idea how it came to be either)?!  What exactly are they referring to that is so "negative"?  Because the way I look at it, it's all of the getting pregnant that's the negative part of having sex.  Regardless, even if there are "negative" things about birth control, it's disturbing to me that one in five of these softheads thinks that no birth control is the way to go instead.  Twenty percent.  That's about twenty percent too high for me.  What is wrong with you people?! 

So you have all of that stuff going on, but then you have questions like "I have all the information I need to avoid having/causing an unplanned pregnancy."  Somehow, 94% of these folks answered 'Yes' to that question.  But these are the same people who forty percent of them think that it's just fate if you get pregnant regardless of your contraceptive usage!  Clearly, they do NOT have all the information that they need.  No, the information that they have is a bit outdated.  Medieval even.  Perhaps someone should inform them that science has made great strides since the days of leaving everything up to fate. 

This is all not good.  It's all very bad, actually.  The fate question really threw me for a loop.  If you'd like to see this data so that you can cry over it yourself, it's available here.

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