[cw: medical talk, genitals talk, etc.]
Found some ace blogs recommending all folks w/ cervices get pap tests.
“As far as I know, pap tests are still a good idea after the age of ~21 or so even if you haven’t had sex because they help catch cervical cancer early.”
“The newest recommendations say that if you are not sexually active you should be receiving one pap test every three years.”
“This makes me feel like you’re not seeing an OB/GYN at all, and you really should.”
“In my personal opinion, if you aren’t already having sex by the time you turn eighteen, you should be scoping out an OB/GYN.”
Okay, let me teach y’all a neat communication trick. Watch this.
When talking about a course of action, you can think in terms of cost-benefit analysis. If you don’t know what cost-benefit analysis is, you can think of it in terms of a table of “pros” and “cons.”
Claiming a course of action is a “good idea” or something everyone relevant “really should” do is presuming the results of that cost-benefit analysis.
Instead, check this out: you can describe the pros/benefits, and that’s it. For example, “if you do X, the good things that can come of that include Y.”
This is a super neat trick because it allows you to be right without making (potentially inaccurate) assumptions about what each individual’s personal pro/con table looks like — not only what they consider to be costs and benefits, but also what value they assign to those costs and benefits.
In contrast, the quotes above are just kinda assuming that the health-checking benefits supersede all, without a trace of consideration that, for some people, the costs may outweigh those benefits.
Because it’s “health”! And health always comes first!
This may surprise you, but no, it doesn’t. Healthism can bite me. Being “healthy” is great but there’s nothing wrong with people having more complex priorities, there’s nothing wrong with people not valuing their health in the same ways you do, and I’m honestly sick as sick gets of people telling me how to feel about the care and keeping of my flesh prison, okay.
The costs (financial costs, psychological costs, physical costs, whatever) of getting a pap test, or any medical test, are different for everyone. You can’t know what the “good idea” is for everyone. People face enough pressure on the subject as it is and I’m irritated at everyone who cosigned this.