Of Sex and Markets

Mary Kenny makes a very interesting observation, in how young people’s sexual behaviour in Britain seems to have mirrored the crazy risk taking of banks and bankers:

But the sex education lesson that should be taught is just like the money-relationship lesson that should be taught: there will be consequences. An unhappy pregnancy, whether terminated or brought to term, is a consequence; and although individuals vary in their reactions to these events, sorrow and rue are not excluded. A sexually transmitted disease can, usually, now be cured, but it is still a consequence. Be aware of this truth.

Learn the old lesson of the money crisis: risks have consequences. It is mendacious not to make that point, in any advertising campaign affecting human choices and human interaction. It is also ineffective – as the teen pregnancy spiral has shown – to ignore deterrence while advancing incentives.

It’s worth remembering indeed that whilst it’s worthwhile on the one hand to advertise the availability of abortion and contraception, unless the culture of unthinking risk-taking is also addressed, then the high prevalence of teenage pregnancies and STIs will merely continue. I don’t think this is an argument for abstinence – the point she makes about bankers’ similar, reckless risk-taking in the banking sector also having negative consequences is far too close to the bone. It’s this free-for-all which has prevailed in Britain since the 80’s/90’s – just because you can do something then you should, and that needs to end for all our sakes.


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