“This Time for Sure!”

If you’ve ever seen The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, you’ll probably recognize the recurring scene in which:

…Bullwinkle would attempt to pull a rabbit out of a top hat (to Rocky’s dismissal: “Again?!” or “But that trick never works!”, and Bullwinkle’s [response], “Nothing up my sleeve…Presto!” or “This time, for sure! Presto!”), only to pull out something unexpected instead (such as a bear), and occasionally even Rocky himself.

It’s funny, because it’s a cartoon, and nobody ever got hurt due to the fact that Bullwinkle was a slow learner. What’s not at all funny, though, is that for the past several decades, our culture has taken this same Bullwinkle approach — “This time for sure!” — to promoting so-called “safe sex” “safer sex”. Condoms, condoms, more condoms, and even more condoms are the answer to preventing STDs, right? Um, no. If condoms were the answer, then, over the course of the past few decades, as we’ve seen millions (billions?) of dollars pumped into “safer sex” programs that encourage condom use, we would expect to see STDs go down. But we don’t. Instead, we see headlines like this one today:

STDs hit fourth of teenage U.S. girls Study finds that most common ailment is HPV

This is terribly sad news, of course, but it shouldn’t be surprising. In 2001, a scientific panel co-sponsored by the CDC, NIH, FDA, and USAID looked at 138 peer-reviewed, published studies and found that — with the exception of AIDS and the female-to-male transmission of gonorrhea — “epidemiological evidence is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of condoms in actual use for preventing most other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)”. At the time, chastity speaker Mary Beth Bonacci summarized the panel’s findings:

Basically, it boils down to this: There is no evidence to indicate that condoms prevent the heterosexual transmission of most sexually transmitted diseases. None.

She also said this about the study:

Apparently, the results of the study were so disturbing that, according to the Washington Post, “some health officials considered keeping the report private.” Can you believe that? They were sitting on information that could affect the lives and deaths of literally millions of Americans, and they were just going to keep sitting. Some “health” officials. When the results did come out, it must’ ve been a pretty big punch in the gut to the “safe sex” establishment. Their careers, their crusades, their entire lives are built around the assumption that condom use protects from sexually transmitted diseases. The shock is evident in the quotes we’re hearing from them. Jeff Spieler, an official at the U.S Agency for International Development, told the Washington Post “ As somebody who is completely devoted to improving public health, I know that any message that minimizes the role and importance of correct and consistent condom use can have an extremely negative effect on preventing HIV and other STDs.” The same Washington Post article went on to say “Some family planning advocates said they feared that the new report would be used to put pressure on the FDA to change condom labels to reflect the conclusions.” It’s like hearing that Grandma died, and immediately asking if Grandma will be making brownies for the funeral. The reality of the loss just hasn’t sunk in yet. [emphasis added]

Condoms are not the answer. Chastity is.


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