It started — rather simply — with a three minute NPR segment. As part of “What’s The New What?,” Pendarvis Harshaw offered his observations on a trend among young twentysomethings: using unprotected sex as a sign of commitment, rather than, say, something more traditional, like an engagement ring.
If anything, the piece advocates condom use, putting fluid bonding on the same level as holy matrimony. Harshaw mentions the importance of getting tested before dispensing with condoms, of having another method of birth control in place. But that’s not how many listeners saw it: on NPR, as well as other sites around the internet (including BoingBoing), commenters railed against Harshaw, calling his segment irresponsible, accusing him of advocating risky behavior, and acting as though he had put forth a call for all young kids to start fucking raw, pronto.
In a time when more than a few people have unprotected sex, casually and noncommitally, placing unprotected sex on the same level as matrimony, suggesting that people shouldn’t dispense with the condoms until they’re ready to commit, seems like a damn fine message to be sending.
So why the backlash? Are we just completely unable to deal with any message that advocates unprotected sex under any circumstances (except, presumably, when people are going for the babymaking)?
[Photo by becca_and_rich]