Friday, September 18, 2015

Healthier Attitudes About Sex Equal Less Global Conflict?

Nice thought . . .

Healthier Attitudes About Sex Equal Less Global Conflict

In 1822, Jacques-Louis David painted Mars Being Disarmed by Venus. In this beautiful painting, the goddess of love, Venus, convinces the goddess of war, Mars, to disarm. For a painter that witnessed the horror of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, his argument to “make love not war” is more than a cliché. What appears to us now as fantasy and idealization is actually an expression of sober experience. David was trying to tell us something real about love, safety, and sex. We should take it seriously. Her are three ways safe sex undermines conflict.
1. Crime – Although there is some debate from ideologues, there is general consensus among analysts that access to contraceptives correlates to a decrease in crime. This makes sense if you think it through. Lower rates of teen pregnancy, less disease, deliberate family size allows for greater social and economic stability. This, in turn, allows for more stable communities and a robust civil society. These factors make crime less likely and less able to take hold.
2. Genocide – Women and children are often explicit targets of genocide. We are reminded of this by the horrible stories of ISIS, but this was also true in the Sudan and many other places. This is because an attack on women, as traditional caretakers, is a tactic to destroy the foundations of family and community. It follows, therefore, that protecting the human rights of women makes communities stronger and less vulnerable to extremist unrest. A key component (but not the only one) of this is enabling women to exercise their agency with regard to their reproductive health, contraceptives, and family planning. This is a first step in freeing women to achieve greater political and economic access.
3. War – Most wars are fought over resources : oil, gold, rich lands, etc. In the age of global warming, those resources are vanishing and shifting. This is leading to refugee crises, economic instability, and conflict. Contraceptives play a vital role in a more efficient management of resources. When family planning works, communities are more stable, healthier, and long term development goals are possible. That’s why organizations like the Gates Foundation and the London School of Economics see contraceptives at the center of address climate change.

These three points are just a few examples of how condoms help bring peace and reconciliation. Yes, Venus can disarm Mars… especially if she’s well protected.
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