“The Slippery Slope,” or Scaring Them Straight
DOI link for “The Slippery Slope,” or Scaring Them Straight
“The Slippery Slope,” or Scaring Them Straight book
In this chapter, the author examines how the "scare them straight" strategy of temperance contradicts much of what people know about drugs, fatty foods, cigarettes, teen pregnancy, multiple-partner sex, and other risks. Though purporting to be scientific, the power strategies of temperance actually de-contextualize and misstate risk by taking real-life events out of daily context. The author provides examples of how the universalistic judgments of "dry logic" de-contextualize behavior in order to magnify risk. "Dry logic" depends on a model of life that assumes no anxiety, boredom, worry, pain, sorrow, suffering, joy, or excitement. Although author chosen to focus on four issues—illicit drugs, cigarette smoking, teen pregnancy, and multiple-partner sex, he believes the same tactics are true of other presentations of risk such as warnings against high-fat diets, TV violence, and pornography. These tactics fall into the following categories: Blurring Boundaries, Imposing a False Concreteness, Falling into Ecological Fallacies, Creating Judgmental Dupes.