Saturday, November 18, 2006

Abstinence Advocate Promotes Junk Science

In a largely unpublicized move, President Bush has appointed Dr Eric Keroack as deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. This position will entail overseeing several Health and Human Services programs, including the Office of Family Planning.

After reading about Dr Keroack's background, I'm of the opinion that appointing him to this position is much like appointed water to keep a campfire burning.

Not only active in the anti-choice and abstinence movements, Keroack is well known for disseminating misleading and outright false information about abortion and contraceptives. In addition to this, his views about abstinence are extreme and unorthodox, even in conservative circles.

Dr Keroack believes that sexual promiscuity and relationship failure has a hormonal cause that can only be prevented by total abstinence before marriage. He asserts that people don't fall in love, but rather they fall into hormonal bondage; that this hormone, Oxytocin, is what creates the bond in marriage.

Citing that forty percent of couples who live together break up before they marry and of the 60 percent that do marry, 40 percent of them divorce after 10 years. statistics he believes could be changed by abstaining until marriage.

He also insists that promiscuity is a misuse of this "emotional glue" of attraction, which, in his view, can only create an endless cycle of misery. Dr Keroack explains this "misery" thusly:

Emotional pain causes our bodies to produce an elevated level of endorphins which in turn lowers the level of oxytocin. Therefore, relationship failure leads to pain which leads to elevated endorphins which leads to lower oxytocin, the result of which is a lower ability to bond. Many in this increased state of emotional pain and lower oxytocin seek sex as a substitute for love, which inevitably leads to another failed relationship, and so on, the cycle continues...People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual.

Unsurprisingly, his remedy for this is for people to remain virgins until one's wedding night.

I don't know about you, but this is the biggest load of unscientific crap I've heard in a long time. I won't go into a lot of detail, as it's late and I'm tired, but I can assure you that my promiscuity isn't a quest to substitute sex for love. Sex and love are two different things, though they can and do, frequently go together. Rather, I enjoy sex for its own sake, and I'm not necessarily seeking love when I have sex with a new partner. I'm quite capable of experiencing love with or without sex, and I see no need to always have to link the two.

And, I can assure you, having had numerous sex partners over the years had been anything but "misery".

I don't know what's worse: fundamentalists telling us to abstain from sex until marriage because "God says so" or someone like Keroack trying to insult people's intelligence by trying to peddle this pseudo-scientific crap as a reason to get people to abstain.


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