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article imageOp-Ed: The ugly truth about condoms and ‘safe sex’

By Alexander Baron     Sep 4, 2011 in World
Condoms are back in the news again, this time for a novel reason; one campaigning organisation is calling for them to be made compulsory for porn stars. The shocking truth about condoms though is that they don’t work.
[Click here for Samuel Okocha's article about the porn industry v AIDS Health Foundation.]
Two years ago, the Pope came in for serious criticism after claiming on a visit to Africa that the widespread distribution of condoms aggravated rather than attenuated the problem of sexually transmitted diseases, one disease in particular. Some claimed the Pontiff was being both ignorant and irresponsible, but was he?
Those who are old enough to remember the birth of the AIDS pandemic will probably remember the slogan – widely endorsed in Britain – don’t forget to use a condom. The propaganda was that by wearing this gossamer thin (pun intended) lubricated membrane during sex, men would protect both themselves and their partners. Even when their partners were other men and they were engaged in what used to be described in law euphemistically as “an unnatural act”.
How anyone ever fell for this monumental con trick is quite beyond belief; consider the following, then do a little mental arithmetic. It is widely agreed that as a form of birth control, condoms have a failure rate of about 15% – 14% according to this website. That means they are 86% successful, which sounds good, but when one considers both what is at risk, and other factors, it is not so successful at all.
Imagine this scenario, you’re boarding a jumbo jet for the first time and are not unnaturally a little nervous. “Is a plane this big really safe?” you ask the stewardess.
She smiles sweetly as she replies, “Of course, madam, 86% of our planes never crash.”
Would you still feel a little nervous?
The failure rate for condoms in the pregnancy department is probably considerably higher when one factors into the equation such things as women refraining from sex when they are definitely “in heat”.
Now apply this to sexually transmitted diseases; obviously if condoms are only 86% efficient as a means of birth control they will be no more efficient, probably less, at preventing the transmission of STDs.
Finally, do a little thought experiment. You’re at a party and you meet the woman (or man) of your dreams. You leave arm in arm with this gorgeous creature, you’re just about to ask your place or mine? when you are pre-empted with the words: “I should warn you I have HIV/syphilis --- (fill in the blank) but don’t worry, we can use a condom.”
Still feel in the mood? Ultimately there are only two ways of protecting yourself against sexually transmitted diseases: one is to do what the Pope does – or doesn’t! The other is to do what the Pope advocates in Africa and elsewhere – abstinence outside of marriage and monogamy within it (ie no bits on the side for either him or her). And homosexuality is a definite no-no because then all sorts of other risk factors creep in.
The other thing about condoms is that they lull people into a false sense of security; the same thing happens with road safety. Campaigners had been telling us for years that it is far more dangerous to ride a motorcycle without a crash helmet than with one. Many people swallowed this (well-meaning) propaganda, including the government of the day, and in Britain it has been illegal to ride a motorcycle without a crash helmet since 1973. One young lady thought this law was a spiffing good idea; I came off my bike at 40mph, she said, and if I hadn't been wearing my helmet, I wouldn't be here now. No, dummy, if you hadn't been wearing a helmet, you wouldn't have been riding so fast. The point is that the false perception of safety changes people's behaviour. A bit of how's your father with a floozie may not be quite as exhilirating as a literal bike ride, but every time you have sex using a condom that is another 14% chance of failure.
Okay, let’s back this up with something from the real world. Here is what the Catholic News Agency found a decade ago. Take a little time to read and digest this article; yes, the people who published it have an agenda, but so do the people who promote condoms. The facts herein haven’t changed appreciably since 2001, but the pro-condom lobby's propaganda has intensified. The widespread use of condoms also has some unpleasant side effects for the environment, such as blocking sewers. Yuk!
There are powerful forces out there trying to persuade especially the young that condoms and what might be called the condom culture are not only acceptable but cool, even essential. These forces may not be as powerful as the banksters as secretive as the Bilderberg Group or as esoteric as the 9/11 Truthers, but they are in their own way just as mendacious, and just as wrong.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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