Anti-abortion rights news service slants contraception study
New studies linking hormonal-contraceptive use to changes in women’s chemical reactions to their romantic partners have been repackaged by the news service of anti-abortion rights marketing group Heroic Media — Heroic News — as findings that women who use contraception will be found unattractive by men.
On Tuesday The Wall Street Journal highlighted various health studies (one of which showed that hormonal birth control, in some cases, affected to whom female lemurs were attracted) and reported that birth control use can affect women’s attractiveness to other people, as well as their own preferences for romantic partners.
The Journal ran the story with the headline “The Tricky Chemistry of Attraction.” On Wednesday, FoxNews.com re-reported the story with the headline “Study: Taking ‘The Pill’ Affects Women’s Attractiveness to Men.” The Fox version was picked up by Heroic News, recently launched by Heroic Media to aggregate news. But the headline was slightly tweaked to read “Taking ‘The Pill’ makes women unattractive.”
The Wall Street Journal story focuses on how hormonal contraception impacts women’s desires particularly when she is ovulating, the opposite of what Heroic News conveys in its headline.
The Journal dedicates brief space to how hormonal birth control can also tweak men’s desires, writing that based on “accumulating evidence,” men react differently to women when they are on birth control. The paper cites a 2004 study in the journal Behavioral Ecology which showed that of 31 men most experienced the greatest attraction for non-pill-using women when they were ovulating.
CBS New York also reported on the studies with the headline “Study: Hormonal Contraceptives Could Wreck Relationships,” and the subhead “Various Birth Control May Zap Some Of The Woman’s Desire.”
Heroic News’ version of the CBS New York story: “Study stuns scientists: hormonal contraceptives wreck relationships.”
Yet, the actual content of CBS’ take on the contraception studies is that the evidence is inconclusive and that the sexual interest between men and women does not ride solely on the use of hormonal birth control.
In other news of anti-abortion rights publications using science news to fit into their views, a single article from an Australian publication about medication abortions has flooded anti-abortion news channels. As The Florida Independent recently reported, at least four anti-abortion rights websites — LifeSiteNews, National Right to Life News Today, CatholicCulture.org, and LifeNews.com — re-reported the same Australian report claiming that medical abortions are “less safe than surgery.”
TFI points out that several publications have contradicted the article in The Australian, offering evidence gathered overtime that contradicts the survey’s findings.