The Pull-and-Pray

21 07 2009

Dan Savage has an interesting take on it, but it bears repeating. I have something to say about it, too, but I don’t have the time to write it down, so this post is more about “Barry reminding himself to write later.” Per the NYTimes article, set off by a June article in Contraception magazine (warning: PDF):

“If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year,” the authors write.

For condoms, used optimally, the rate is about 2 percent. But more significant, the authors say, are the rates for “typical use,” because people can’t be expected to use any contraception method perfectly every time. Typical use of withdrawal leads to pregnancy 18 percent of the time, they write; for typical use of condoms 17 percent of the time.

(There are other, more effective methods. Failure rates for the pill and the patch are about 8 percent; for Depo-Provera injections, about 3 percent; and for diaphragms, about 16 percent. Intrauterine devices fail less than 1 percent of the time.)

Did you know some gay men use the withdrawal method as a means of protecting themselves against HIV? Truth. “On me, around me, just not in me.”

Additionally, I wonder if there isn’t an interesting study to be done on the effectiveness of withdrawal as a function of age. How well does a teenage virgin practice withdrawal as compared to a, say, established man in his early 40s?

But I’ve been reading David Halperin, and I’ve been wondering about risk taking these days, so… yea, I’m trying to cross reference in my head.

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One response

22 07 2009
Michi

fascinating really — and so glad you picked up that halperin book.

love you

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