Friday, February 8, 2008

Condom Fallacies

The only thing that mass-distribution of condoms does is to encourage sexually promiscuous behavior.

The issue of wide-scale distribution of condoms is in the news once more. In the days preceding Brazil's Carnival celebrations authorities announced they would be handing out 19.5 million free condoms, reported Reuters on Jan. 28.

A British medical journal, the Lancet, also recently criticized the Church for its opposition to condoms. An editorial in the Jan. 26 edition of the journal chided Benedict XVI for not changing Church teaching so that condoms could be used by Catholics in preventing HIV/AIDS infections.

The simplistic assumption that condoms are the solution to sexually transmitted diseases is, however, increasingly being proved false. In its Jan. 26 issue, the British Medical Journal published a forum on condoms, with contrasting articles for and against on the topic.

Even the article in favor of condoms, by Markus Steiner and Willard Cates, admitted that in addition to condoms there is a need for "risk avoidance and risk reduction approaches." Such measures, they explained, include delayed initiation of sexual intercourse, and mutual faithfulness. How about some 'self control'?

In his article putting forward the "no" case, Stephen Genuis clearly stated: "Firstly, condoms cannot be the definitive answer to sexually transmitted infection because they provide insufficient protection against transmission of many common diseases."

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