Sandy Rios of the American Family Association has an opinion: that it’s promiscuous men driving the pro-choice legislation, and that women are more anti-abortion.
“It is generally, from my opinion, the promiscuous white men who are pushing abortion,” Rios said. “I would even say the promiscuous black ones like our president, oh forgive me I shouldn’t say that, but they’re the ones who want sexual license, they do not want responsibility; abortion has always helped men more than it helps women.”
I guess the underlying assumption is that we horny men just like to have sex without consequences…which is true. So what? That’s why birth control and principles like “only bump hips with people you know” exist.
And why does “promiscuity” come into the equation? Does Rios think that monogamous people don’t have abortions? News flash: if you sleep with ten different people or one person ten times, your odds of creating a baby are about the same. But if you do it with ten different people, suddenly it’s “promiscuity” and that’s morally repulsive. It’s not liking to have lots of sex that’s the crime, it’s the appreciation of variety. To what other fun activities does that apply? “Oh, you went to see World War Z with Susan and Jacob tonight? How could you???” I enjoy my promiscuity in multiple activities. I’m a promiscuous diner, especially when it comes to Chinese food. I love doing it with lots of different people who don’t bug me to no end, like my fiancee, my roommate, her boyfriend, you name it. Nobody gives a shit. I’m promiscuous with my hugs, and am grateful there’s no such thing as hug-transmitted-diseases. Nobody gives a shit. But if I’m promiscuous giving people orgasms, suddenly god’s got a special pitchfork in hell just for me.
And what’s wrong with not wanting responsibility? Yeah, I don’t want a kid right now. I’m not ready to have one. There are other things I want to do. It’s good to acknowledge that, and there are plenty of other men and women in the same boat. It’s not that I mind handling the responsibilities I adopt like a champ, but who the hell wants responsibility that isn’t necessary? Does Sandy Rios walk into a Taco Bell, walk past the counter and say “Hey, I’m just gonna go back here and do the dishes. No need to pay me; I love extra responsibility!”? Fuck no, he doesn’t. So yeah, I don’t want unnecessary burdens, especially when I do fun stuff. Guilty. When I eat Chinese I don’t want to contract food poisoning. When I have sex with someone I use a condom and prefer they be on birth control because I don’t want a baby. Making sure I don’t eat at skanky restaurants and using birth control are taking responsibility when I do fun things, just like dropping the hundreds of dollars on an abortion is a responsibility if one slips past the goal posts. You caught me, Sandy: I don’t want to be punished more than necessary for having fun. Send god a memo.
And abortion has always helped men more than women? When doctors start giving epidurals to men in the delivery room then I might buy that argument.
Anyway, Rios’ claim seemed absurd on its face, since when I see pro-choice legislation being pushed it’s generally by people like Wendy Davis. So I did what any person who gives a shit that their opinions are true and not just whatever nonsense leaked into their brain that morning and I ran a google search for “support for legal abortion by gender”. Oh, here’s the first link from Gallup: “Education Trumps Gender in Support for Abortion.”
It turns out that men and women support legalized abortion at about the same clip, with women supporting it slightly more. Since Rios’ claim is that promiscuous men are supporting legalized abortion more than women, and since the subset of promiscuous men is smaller than the set of all men, and since women support abortion more than all men, Rios’ opinion is wrong and nobody should listen to it. And Rios, if he gives a damn about the truth, should correct it, which will probably happen sometime between now and never.
But you know who does tend to support pro-choice legislation? Educated people. Men or women, if they’ve spent a goodly part of their lives in universities augmenting their intellect, they are more likely to support pro-choice legislation. And their support only grows with more education. This is not a recent development:
Educational achievement is much more important than gender in determining support for broadly legal abortion, with college-educated adults — and especially college-educated women — the most supportive. This has been the case since the 1970s.
So because Rios treats his opinions with pious care, like it matters if his opinions are true, surely the next time he brings up this talking point he’ll say:
“It is generally, from my opinion, the hyper-educated white men and women in slightly greater proportion than men who are pushing abortion,” Rios said. “I would even say the hyper-educated black ones like our president, oh forgive me I shouldn’t say that, but they’re the ones, both men and women, who want sexual license, they do not want additional, unnecessary responsibility; abortion has always helped men far less than it helps women, who must deal with the physical, psychological, and financial burdens (often entirely if they’re single) of producing a child they may not want or be ready to raise. Fortunately, some men haven’t had their empathy ripped from them and can relate to the desire to govern what goes on in one’s body, even if they don’t have a penis.”
And they say the new atheists are a bunch of big meanies. See how helpful I can be?