Self Control's The Way To Go

That, or we start handing these out at chemists.

I once went to University and studied chemistry which I enjoyed, but quite frankly, was rubbish at; where you to ask me about some deeply complex chemistry theorem I would most likely look agog at you.

Despite this a fine blend of hubris, ego and lack of self-awareness (or honesty perhaps?) led to me taking my 2:1 Masters degree as evidence I was capable of a PhD; I was to move onto asking new questions rather than answering older ones.

Whether this would have proved I was the idiot I know I am now or not will never be answered, because it was during my first year that my parents teetering marriage finally went overboard and my entire family went mental (a story for another time), not least myself , newly married being unable to cope with becoming father (I'm the eldest) to my siblings whilst the original buggered off to mid-life crisistania whilst Mumra took off to De-Nileism.

Why am I telling you all this? Because, fearless reader I believe there is some relationship between what is happening in scientific "research" today in many fields and how my family behaved (behaves).

Lately science has become less about discovering new things and more about avoiding tricky questions that challenge old rules; my folks tried this for years to everyones detriment and it was once reality finally settled in that things that could've been cordial and polite became destructive and heartbreaking.

This looks like one of those questions scientists have been trying to avoid:

The drive to give free morning-after pills to teenage girls has failed to cut underage pregnancies.
Schemes to offer over-the-counter emergency birth control to girls under 16 have simply encouraged youngsters to have more unprotected sex, damning research found.
In doing so they have fuelled a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.
The findings are a blow to public health chiefs who have argued that handing out the morning-after pill cuts schoolgirl pregnancies.
Family campaigners seized on the research as more evidence that the problem of teenage pregnancies needs a ‘moral solution’ and not one based on dishing out drugs.

Now trying to at least retain some vestige of the scientist within
I decided you use some academic contacts to get a copy of the unreleased paper; this was a Fairly Pale story afterall, only to find that the authors had tried their hardest to back up their claims with several layers of statistical formulae - none of which really detracted from the overall picture the results painted; the evidence may not be on a par with truly empirical observation due to the small numbers involved, but it is compelling.

And it makes sense; people respond to incentives and if you offer them the opportunity to experience something in a little more pleasurable a manner to which the uninformed (or, if Dwayne really was lying to you and did sleep with the town bike, Dwaynerita, the lied to) see as having little cost associated with the action but to take 10 minutes out of their Trisha and Jeremy Kyle watching and pop down to the chemist's.

Knowing several teenage single mums I can see why the results are not as black and white as the Fail would wish (if not for their desire to beef up the rhetoric in the article mind); some rise to the challenge of parenthood admirably and make good with their lot - others not so much. How these 2 groups measure up is beyond me and I will leave it to Proffessor Paton, his group and others to ascertain.

One thing I am convinced of; these children ultimately have no father; they are the States progeny - having torn out the heart of personal responsibility by effectively subsidising baby-making they are now reaping all the unintended consequences.

And once one uncomfortable question is asked, the rest come tumbling out.

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