TAL suggested the research results could also be used for right-wing (i.e nefarious) purposes. For example, instead of sending around a woman who’s had an abortion to talk with people about why it was the right choice for her, sending around a woman who had an abortion and talking about regretting it… Or as I immediately thought, sending around women to lie about having had an abortion and claiming to be filled with regret.
I still believe in face to face empathy. Maybe not a stranger going door to door, but we certainly see people change when the situation is involving their children.
Yay, science! Even when it makes mistakes, it corrects itself.
Couldn’t that scenario just as easily go the other way, though? Sending around a woman to lie about having had an abortion and why it was the right choice for her?
Or sending around anyone about any cause and have them tell a fictitious personal story? If you’re trying to effect change on a particular issue through the kind of canvassing described in TAL, you just need to convince the person who answers their door that what you’re sharing is the truth.
Compare that with a thoroughly discredited paper that claimed gay parents were worse than heterosexual parents whose author continues to defend his conclusions.
And I’ll repeat my own purely unscientific observation: I’ve heard numerous cases of people who opposed same-sex marriage coming to accept it and even support it. I’ve never heard a single case of someone who was for same-sex marriage changing their mind. There must be cases, but for the most part the movement on this issue appears to be one way.
I had to ignore my gut when I listened to that podcast. Once again, gut was right.
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