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Daughters As A Shield


This. Very much this:

It didn’t seem to matter anymore that, two years prior to that, Obama had invoked his daughters in a very different context. When reporters asked him why he was opposed to making the morning-after pill available to all ages without a prescription, he replied, “I will say this, as the father of two daughters. I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.” If you’re confused about why, when it comes to this particular issue, an avowedly pro-choice president sounds like a Bible Belt patriarch, join the club. And when it comes to the sexuality of teen girls, Obama’s talking points have been nearly identical to those of his conservative predecessor: Father knows best.

Obama’s protective impulse runs counter to oft-cited research by Yale economist Ebonya Washington, who found in 2007 that the more daughters a politician has, the more likely he or she is to vote with women’s interests in mind — particularly on reproductive-rights issues. But apparently that rule doesn’t apply when the daughter is still a teenager and the question is whether she can access contraception on her own, without involving a parent or doctor. Republicans get a bad rap for disregarding science about touchy social issues, but Obama’s attitude shows that the teen-girl sex panic afflicts liberals as much as conservatives.

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