THE EDITOR, Sir:
Imagine a classroom of high-school children, and a teacher warning them about the dangers of smoking. Instead of explicitly instructing the children to not smoke cigarettes and stressing how smoking causes lung cancer, she gives the students packets of cigarettes that are low in nicotine and tar content.
According to the teacher, the children are going to smoke anyway, because it is unreasonable (impossible even!) for children who are oriented to smoke to resist doing so. Furthermore, it would be an infringement on their right to freedom of smoking. Therefore, they should not be discouraged them to engage in that activity. Is this safe?
Curiously, this is the same approach being adopted and promoted during Safe Sex Week. Instead of following the conventional health strategy of promoting risk avoidance, most health institutions have instead opted for a lower level of health protection: risk reduction.
Despite current propaganda (and how convenient it would be to our sexual appetites), extramarital, promiscuous, sexual activity can never be safe, and its effects can never be fully mitigated with condoms.
First, in terms of protecting physical health, condoms fall short - very short. They are not 100 per cent effective, with fail rates estimated as high as 11 per cent. Furthermore, there is always the risk persons will not use them properly, or not use them every time they have sex, even though the occasional usage of condoms gives the illusion of safety.
Second, condoms do not protect against the psychological effects of sex. Sex releases hormones that bond individuals to each other (oxytocin in women, vasopressin in men). Therefore, persons who have sex - even with a condom! - get powerfully attached to sexual partners, which may result in psychological trauma once a change in relationship occurs.
Dopamine (which creates a feeling of euphoria after sex or any thrilling activity) neurologically creates an addiction to sex, while promiscuity weakens one's neurological ability to bond to a sexual partner, such as a husband or wife, in the future.
Advising persons to simply wear a condom, as opposed to limiting the number of partners they have, is self-defeating.
For sex to truly be safe, it must be seen for what it is: a sacred union that should only be enjoyed between one man and one woman in a life-long commitment.
The Love March Movement