Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Another Example of Normalizing Sinfulness

I was watching t.v. the other night and saw a "public service announcement" (and I use that term loosely) type commercial talking about HPV. In case you don't know about what HPV is, it is Human Papilloma Virus. Women are especially at risk, because HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer. The risk of a woman catching it in the course of her lifetime, they say is upwards of 75%. The commercial was recommending PAP tests and even had a mother hugging her teenage daughter saying "I'm going to bring it up with her doctor at her school physical."

The description that they offered of HPV was that it was a common infection. They didn't mention that the main way it is transmitted is through sexual contact, especially the types they are talking about. They also neglected to mention that the virus is so small that it can easily penetrate the membrane of a condom. In fact, because of this, HPV is often left out of the "Sexually Transmitted Disease" discussion, because it is one more point in the favor of abstinence over protection.

Now we have crossed over a line where a sexually transmitted disease is no longer even referred to as an STD, it is a common infection. And why not? If sexual behavior outside of marriage is considered to be a normal and common amusement, then the reprocussions of it will be just as common as sharing an elevator with someone who has a cold. Why should it be differentiated? Pretty soon the risk of getting gonnorrhea, syphillis, or even HIV are just the risks of being alive. Wash your hands, where your glove....

It amazes me at times that in a world where we are encouraged to bleach our countertops, use antibacterial soap, not share drinks or toothbrushes......that very few women look at the behavior of exchanging the most intimate of bodily fluids within their own bodies and say "Hey, maybe chastity makes sense, because otherwise, that's pretty gross."


Technorati tags:

4 comments:

This Pastor's Wife said...

I too am continually frustrated by that commercial (in particular the mom/daughter that you mention) that seems to be on every time I get a chance to sit and watch some TV. Urghhh...

Designated Knitter said...

I'm frustrated by the attitude on the commercials where they keep emphasizing over and over... "I just want to tell someone!!!" Tell someone??? They use the same vocabulary as we use to express that we want to tell someone GOOD NEWS. It isn't good news, and it's not even useful information without a discussion about what steps can be taken to lessen the risk of contracting the virus. You know, things like not hooking up with the entire 7th Fleet on shore leave...stuff like that. Nowhere in the commercial do they give any indication that there is anything to do besides talk about the fact that it's a virus. They don't even tell you to "ask your doctor" for more information! They never miss an opportunity to tell you to "ask your doctor" if Viagra is right for you, but this we should just sit around and talk about. Grrrr

Green Darner said...

AMEN!!

Yellow said...

Five years ago, my husband taught abstinence classes in high schools through a Christian program. He had all the stats on HPV and kept telling everyone, "In a few years, you'll hear a lot about HPV. It's an epidemic!" So many teachers blew him off and now, here it is, on T.V.

Anyway, it's a shame that this stuff has to be on television, and I wish they would express the importance of abstinence. People are doing things sexually that they think are safe. "As long as we don't have intercourse, we're okay." Wrong! My husband and I met 2 15-yr. olds with HPV and they were in terrible pain. They weren't even 'going all the way.' It's sad.