Contraceptives

June 7, 2011

Apparently the Pill makes men and women like each other less.  Also, apparently, condoms make women more depressed.

Sometimes I wonder whether the Catholic Church hasn’t been right about contraceptives all along.

Incidentally, political correctness makes it difficult even to talk about such questions.  The Wall Street Journal writer, at that first link, feels compelled to assure readers,

Researchers say their aim isn’t to scare or stop women from taking hormonal contraceptives. “We just want to know what we’re doing” by taking the pill, says Alexandra Alvergne, a researcher in biological anthropology . . . .  “If there is a risk it affects our romantic life and the health status of our children, we want to know.”

Meanwhile the author of the second piece, for citing a scientific study about the effects of semen, has been professionally destroyed; as Mark Steyn puts it,

When the complaints started rolling in from lady doctors, Surgery News withdrew the entire issue. All of it. Gone. Then Dr. Greenfield apologized. Then he resigned as editor. Then he apologized some more. Then he resigned as president-elect of the American College of Surgeons. The New York Times solemnly reported that Dr. Barbara Bass, chairwoman of the department of surgery at Methodist Hospital in Houston, declared she was “glad Dr. Greenfield had resigned.” But Dr. Colleen Brophy, professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University, said “the resignation would not end the controversy.”

Dr. Greenfield is one of the most eminent men — whoops, persons — in his profession, and, when it comes to vascularized vaginas, he would appear to have the facts on his side. But, like Ludvik, he made an ideologically unsound joke, and so his career must be ended. An apology won’t cut it, so the thought police were obliged to act: To modify the old line, the operation was a complete success, and the surgeon died.

You can read Dr. Greenfield’s whole original piece at that second link above.  Read Mark Steyn’s whole piece about it here, although I should warn you that that link will expire, after which time you can find it as Steyn’s “Happy Warrior” column in the most recent issue of National Review (if you or your library is a subscriber).

You can also read about Greenfield’s fate in, for example, a take by the (liberal) AP on the (conservative) Townhall.com.

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34 Responses to “Contraceptives”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    I don’t wear condoms so this isn’t an issue for me.

  2. Snoodickle Says:

    P.S. It said women who are abstinent are just as depressed as those who use condoms.


    • Right, most of us are called to marriage, not to a life of celibacy. If people feel the need for love and marriage (including sex), as is only natural, they should marry.

      If you’re not using a condom, then that probably means that the women you have sex with are on the Pill, which is subject to the other problems mentioned above.

      Additionally, you won’t believe me if I tell you that the sleeping around you keep telling us you do is bad for your soul, and bad for the emotional health of at least the woman, but I will remind you that it can also give you any number of STDs—“loathsome disease”, as our law-school materials might put it.

      The simple, obvious solution is to limit your sex to marriage. Everything fits together remarkably well, if you’re willing to follow God’s plan and put the good of another above your own. Or, as we say, “all things work together for good to those who love God”.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Actually, I am a one woman man these days, at least for the time being, and would like to keep it that way. Also, I am STD free. In any event, STDs are a risk that is well worth living your life to the fullest. As far as her emotional health, she is as happy as can be, as am I, and I am assuming that is because of all the bodily fluids being exchanged. As far as my soul, I can’t speak for him, as I am not even sure he exists, and even if he did, I doubt he would care that I am having relations.


      • If that’s true, seriously, why not marry her?

        As to her happiness, are you going to tell me that she would not be happier if you asked her to marry you?

        As for “living life to the fullest”, on the contrary, as I was telling “Mickey mouse” last month, the pleasures of hedonism are shallow and hollow. Not only does a more traditional life of love according to God’s plan offer deeper joys, but it’s also better in cruder terms that even you can understand: On average, “married people have the most sex”. Married people are also healthier and happier (and the sex is better) than people merely living together. (That link is to a book review, but even the review cites more than a dozen scientific studies.)

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Well, considering we have only known each other for about a month and a half, I think its way too early to talk about marriage. Also, it’s not hedonism if you care more about the girl than the sex itself, even if you’re not married. Also, 40% of marriages are sexless. So while the 60% of married couples who actually find each other attractive may have sex more on average than people who are not married (obviously, if you’re married you should bang each other all the time), if you are in the 40% you are screwed (while not getting screwed or screwing). So imagine waiting 30 years of your life to have sex, having sex a few times, and then ending up in a sexless marriage. Think about that for a second and tell me again that waiting to have sex within the confines of marriage is the better option. Madness.


      • Do you care more about her than about the sex itself?

        If so, that’s great—it may mean the beginning of love, as opposed to lust. But you should love her fully, without holding back—which would mean (among other things) that you would have to marry her. As G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis have observed, “those who are in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises. Love songs all over the world are full of vows of eternal constancy. The Christian law is not forcing upon the passion of love something which is foreign to that passion’s own nature: it is demanding that lovers should take seriously something which their own passion of itself impels them to do.” (Lewis, Mere Christianity, “Christian Marriage”.)

        You say that it’s “way too early to talk about marriage”, but you have it backward; you’re putting the cart before the horse. If it’s too early to talk about marriage, it’s way too early to have sex with her. If you can’t restrain yourself and abstain from sex for a few months while you get to know her and decide whether the two of you should marry, how are you going to be faithful to her and restrain yourself for years and decades of marriage? I don’t mean to imply that you can be perfectly continent on your own—we all need a lot of help from God—but you’re only hurting yourself by indulging in and reinforcing these bad habits.

        With respect to sexless marriages, what exactly are you arguing? Are you saying that you wouldn’t so much mind being stuck in one as long as you had had sex at some point in your life (before you were married)? or are you saying that marriage always carries an unacceptably high risk of being “sexless”, and so you don’t ever want to get married, regardless of whether we should be celibate before marriage or not?

        In any case, where do you get 40%? (Generally plenty-liberal sources) MSNBC and Newsweek apparently put it at 15-20%. More importantly, do you think it’s just a crapshoot whether you end up in a sexless marriage? I think that’s totally incorrect; I think it’s almost entirely up to you and your choices. I think in most of those cases, at least part of the problem is that the husband has failed to love his wife. Even in this article from MSNBC, another contributing factor suggests itself: premarital sex. The example couple at the beginning of the article, “As an engaged couple, . . . were doing it about three times a week, but once they said their vows, it quickly dwindled to about once a month — sometimes less.”

      • Snoodickle Says:

        That’s exactly right. If I’m going to end up in a sexless marriage, i would rather have had sex thousands of times before marriage to compensate for the lack of sex during marriage.

        P.S. Something is wrong, I can’t reply to the proper post.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Never mind.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        P.S.S. The 40% came from Colin Cowherd who hosts The Herd on ESPN radio (simulcasted on ESPNU). I have never known him to be wrong on these matters, and therefore can only assume that he is correct.

      • Mickey Mouse Says:

        I often wonder why you think you know everything when it comes to marriage. We are the same age; we have the same education (well actually I have an additional master’s degree); you have a higher IQ and are more book smart, but I have good street smarts. I question this because your tone is always that of a person who is all knowing.

        Really all you do is relay what you have read and what you have forced yourself to believe (something I am equally as guilty of with the exception of reading because I rarely waste my reading time on this subject). I wonder if these comments you make are going too far in that you are trying to force your beliefs upon others using the threat of hell as your stick (my main problem with religion).

        Perhaps “this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people”, but who is setting the expectations?

        Maybe now “is our chance to choose the right side”. This is your opportunity to live a life full of risks and one that is guilt free.

        I think you may have become a victim of your own belief. “The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There’s not one of them which won’t make us into devils if we set it up as an absolute guide.” “The Value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity.”

        As Snoodickle indicated, he has only been seeing this girl for one and a half months. It seems incredibly silly for him to even contemplate marriage. As an adult he is free to make his own decisions on whether to have sex before marriage. I know I would never marry a girl without having sex with her first because I need to be comfortable with any girl I would consider marrying. Anyone who meets someone, abstains from sex for a few months and then gets married is not rational. To plan 40-70 years of your life based on 3-6 months is ludicrous and to plan a life full of sex without having sex and knowing the other persons wants and desires prior to marriage is equally as ludicrous. I would compare it to never having tried candy, walking into a candy store and seeing all the various colors, making a selection and purchasing a life worth’s of it, finally tasting the candy after you have purchased it and finding out it’s some sour shit that you hate. Just me two cents (perhaps I am now as guilty as you are of lecturing).

        – MCKY

        P.S. – Regarding my rant and use of quotes, I am simply trying to show that I can quote C.S. Lewis as well. Above you may note that one of my quotes is from Lord of the Rings. I doubt you can determine which one it is without googling the various quotes. Anyways, sorry for the rant.

      • Tevyeh Says:

        “I wonder if these comments you make are going too far in that you are trying to force your beliefs upon others using the threat of hell as your stick (my main problem with religion).”

        Laying aside the fact that Mr. Chillingworth never mentioned hell, I take issue with the notion that stating one’s beliefs relating to the consequences of this-or-that action amounts to “force.”

      • Snoodickle Says:

        You take issue? As in it offends you?

        P.S. Although Mr. Chillingworth never mentioned hell, don’t act like he doesn’t think we’re going there. (“we” meaning liberals).

      • Tevyeh Says:

        Wow. Now he can exert force on you just by *thinking* something? That’s Jedi-level stuff.

        Assuming, of course, you’ve accurately described his beliefs regarding hell. You may be surprised that there’s a diverity of opinions on that subject throughout the Christian world.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        I think the basic concept is that if you don’t love Jesus, you end up spending eternity with a fat guy in a red body suit who pokes you with a stick.

      • Tevyeh Says:

        And it’s an eternity of cloudborne harp practice if you do, right?

      • Snoodickle Says:

        It sounds insane doesn’t it? Yet billions of people believe that is what actually happens.

  3. Mickey mouse Says:

    I am glad to hear you are finally questioning your stance on contraceptives: “Sometimes I wonder whether the Catholic Church hasn’t been right about contraceptives all along”

  4. Mickey mouse Says:

    P.S. I like the new format – very sleek

  5. Snoodickle Says:

    Also, if not using contraceptives becomes the norm, then according to the article, men with masculine qualities (e.g. tall, big muscles, etc.), like myself, will flourish. So I would be fully in favor of banning birth control.

  6. Tevyeh Says:

    Notice how quickly the discussion of contraception’s possible downsides segues into the question of legal prohibition.


    • Yes, I sometimes wonder, if one subtracted the careless conflation of government with everything else (e.g., private charitable organizations)—and the conflation of considering something bad or good with wanting the government to prohibit or mandate it (or tax or subsidize it)—whether there would be anything left to liberalism. (I think there probably is more to liberalism than those things—but I do sometimes wonder how much more.)

      Or, as I put it in a previous conversation on this blog, “One of the differences between conservatives and liberals is that liberals make the leap effortlessly from thinking that a thing is good or bad to assuming that the government should mandate or prohibit it.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        In the interest of full disclosure, I couldn’t care less if the government prohibits contraceptives or not. My above comment regarding the government banning contraceptives was part of a poorly constructed joke that everyone apparently forgot to laugh at.

      • Tevyeh Says:

        I never thought you were seriously advocating a ban on contraceptives, I merely wanted to call attention to your introduction of this subject as somehow relevant—joking or otherwise—to the discussion. To my “classical liberal” mind, the subject of legal prohibition is generally—absent careful justification—a non-sequitur when introduced into a discussion like this one.

        Not so for many of my 21st century progressive friends—if an argument is made that a thing is “bad,” nothing, to their minds, flows more naturally from this judjment than a discussion of how government force can be brought to bear to correct this evil. “The careless conflation of government with everything else”…I like that summary of the phenomenon.

        Again, I know you weren’t making a serious argument, but your leap to discussion of a ban—without explanation or justification—is nevertheless revealing.

      • Tevyeh Says:

        Wow…see M. Mouse’s comment below for a much more blatant example of the phenomenon I’m talking about. To Mr. Mouse, the judjment that a thing is “bad” does not merely *lead* to a discussion of government control, but any such conclusion is apparently *indistinguishable* from an argument for government control.

    • Snoodickle Says:

      Chilingworth, there is now a theory to explain your lack of logic and selective reasoning.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/arts/people-argue-just-to-win-scholars-assert.html?_r=1&hp

      • Tevyeh Says:

        Thanks for the link, Snoodickle. I now have a resource explaining the mental processes of everybody who disagrees with me.

        ‘Cuz, you know, it doesn’t apply to ME or anything…

  7. Mickey mouse Says:

    So we should limit contraceptives but not limit water usage? Remind me again of your definition of liberty? Do you think we should have claimed independence?

    – M. Mouse

  8. Snoodickle Says:

    So your beef with liberalism is that liberals immediately jump to the conclusion that the government should ban everything that’s bad, rather than discussing the reasons something is bad without introducing government into the dialogue. Conservatives, on the other hand, like to talk things through a little more thoroughly before they decide the government should or should not ban something, or maybe they will never discuss a government ban at all. And somehow this dichotomy fascinates you two to the point that we have spent almost an entire thread talking about it, when we should have been talking about why the government should ban contraceptives the whole time.

    • Tevyeh Says:

      Speaking for myself, I’d say you’ve described *one* of my “beefs” with 21st century liberalism. The phenomenon I’ve described is hardly unique to progressives–there are still plenty of social conservatives out there who would like to ban everything that you never saw in a 1950’s sitcom. However, over the past few decades American conservatism has incorporated an ever-growing libertarian streak, while American liberalism seems to be getting more and more fundamentally statist. Yes, you could say this development “fascinates” me, and informs many of my political positions.

      Now, on to the discussion of abortion and/or gay marriage in five…four…three…


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