Just below, Allison references Meg Ryan’s efforts to “empathize” with the desperately poor women of Jehangirpuri.  Here at home, though, actress Scarlett Johansson is slamming President Bush for holding traditional views on sex, criticizing abstinence education, and declaring that, if the President had his way, “Every woman would have six children and we wouldn’t be able to have abortions.”

In the past, Johansson has protested that she’s “not promiscuous”. Whether or not she’s promiscuous, she is certainly a bubblehead.  Perhaps it’s not surprising that she condemns education that encourages abstinence as “unrealistic” — she’s opined in the past that “I do think on some basic level we are animals, and by instinct we kind of breed accordingly.”

What Johansson seems to ignore is the fact that human beings have many impulses.  What elevates us above animals is our capacity to establish moral standards that prompt us to curb those impulses in the service of higher values. 

No doubt she’s aware of the power of example . . . she’s let it be known that she’s tested for HIV twice yearly.  Given the influence over young girls that she wields, it’s unfortunate that — rather than encouraging young girls to behave in ways that will protect their self-respect and physical and emotional health — she simply buys into the reductionist notion that young people are little more than breeding animals, who can’t be expected to exercise self-restraint when it comes to sex.