UK Pharmaceutical Journal says it’s time to tell the truth about ‘safe sex”

The journal of UK pharmacists, The Pharmaceutical Journal, contains an article by RoseMary Baker, a pharmacist from the Wirral, proposing that for the health of the nation pharmacists need to start telling the truth about ‘safe sex’.

‘Are we being as fair to the public about sex as we are about smoking or eating sweets or drinking alcohol?  Do we highlight the failure rate of contraceptives or do we couch the true failure rate in terms like “if used effectively”. Do we shout from the rooftops the fact that many progesterone only pills are likely to fail if the dose is more than three hours late? Have we fought for a Government health warning on condoms which says “this product is likely to fail if you have never used a condom before and you are fumbling around in the dark at the back of the youth club”? Do we help to  punch home the truth that sexually transmitted infections really are transmitted sexually, are highly unpleasant and often lead to infertility later in life?’

‘Why are we as a profession going along with the lie that postcoital contraception is not abortifacient. Someone, and I do not know who, decided that pregnancy does not begin until an embryo is implanted in the lining of the uterus. How can that be? As scientists we should recognise, that a new life form, genetically distinct from either parent, comes into existence when the sperm and ovum fuse. Once that new life form exists, call it what you will, to destroy it is an abortifacient action. Some may not consider that important but we should be telling people the facts so that they can make their own ethical decision.’

‘We tell people half-heartedly about sexually transmitted diseases but encourage wider availability of postcoital contraception and kid ourselves that such supply does not encourage irresponsible behaviour. When passions are running high would not the prospect of buying a tablet in the morning seem more acceptable than breaking the mood while a condom is applied?

Pharmacists who oppose the availability of post-coital contraception over the counter are branded as, at best, kill-joys and more often, religious bigots. In actual fact these pharmacist are the ones who have their minds tuned to the reality of the situation.

The teenage pregnancy statistics for the UK are terrifying. What are we as a profession  doing about it? We just find ways of making the morning after pill ever more widely available instead of spreading the word that sex, far more than chocolate and alcohol, needs to be treated with  restraint and respect.’

Protect the Pope Comment: This article by a professional pharmacist is remarkable on a number of levels.

First, it is a public admission that the UK pharmacy profession is not being open and above-board about the health outcomes of medicines and devices it is dispensing to the public to do with sexual health. The question follows, why can they be trusted to give sound scientific advice about obesity and alcohol, but not on sexual issues? This admission reveals that pharmacists, like many professions in our society, are promoting an ideology disguised as objective truth about sexuality. There are powerful, vested interests promoting this degrading vision of sexuality. Why?

Second, the article admits that the UK pharmaceutical profession as a whole is not telling the truth about the postcoital pill being an abortifact.  ’Why are we as a profession going along with the lie that postcoital contraception is not abortifacient.’ As a scientist RoseMary Baker exposes the lie being peddled as fact that human life only begins at implantation in the uterus. Once this question is raised by science, then the whole deceitful edifice that supports abortion begins to collapse.

Third, the article reveals that some pharmacists who are raising sound scientific and moral objections to the provision of the ‘morning after pill’ are being subjected to hostility and intolerance for not blindly going along with this ideology. As the author puts it they ‘branded as, at best, kill-joys and more often, religious bigots.’ This is another manifestation of the ‘secular fascism’ that is developing in this country.

Fourth, in the judgement of this pharmacist the UK pharmacy profession’s promotion of the morning after pill is encouraging, not stopping, irresponsible, disrespectful sexual behaviour, supporting the Catholic Church’s long held position on contraception.

This article by an honest and brave pharmacist is dynamite and The Pharmaceutical Journal is to be congratulated for allowing a member to challenge the deceitful ideology being unquestioningly promoted by the profession. It will be interesting to see how other pharmacists respond to this challenge.

H/T Caritas in Veritate

http://www.pjonline.com/news/more_sex_please_we%E2%80%99re_pharmacists

71 comments to UK Pharmaceutical Journal says it’s time to tell the truth about ‘safe sex”

  • Karla

    Thank you God! Finally maybe the mainstream of people are starting to wake up. There is no such thing as ”safe sex,”there is no evidence in the UK that safe sex in schools, contraception promotion has reduced STDS, abortion or the delayong of sex. Women are not told about the risks of the pill:

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2011/02/how-the-pill-can-harm-your-future-childs-health/ reports on findings from the book ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ by Dr Natascha Campbell McBride

    http://www.gutandpsychologysyndrome.com/gaps-book/

    ‘Since the introduction of oral contraceptives in the early 1960′s, use of The Pill has soared to approximately 7 in 10 women of childbearing age…..

    The widespread use of oral contraceptives is a troubling issue because these types of drugs devastate beneficial bacterial flora in the gut leaving it vulnerable to colonization and dominance from pathogenic strains such as Candida Albicans, Streptococci and Staphylococci among others. By the time a woman who has used oral contraceptives is ready to have children, a severe case of gut dysbiosis has more than likely taken hold….

    What’s worse, drug induced gut imbalance is especially intractable and resistant to treatment either with probiotics or diet change.

    What does this mean for your future child’s health? A lot, as it turns out!…

    A human baby is born with a sterile gut. This means that there is no bacterial activity in a fetus’ digestive system prior to birth. The vast majority of gut flora that a child eventually develops is inherited from Mom, so if Mom has gut imbalance, so will her children and probably more severely so.

    Children with imbalanced gut flora are particularly predisposed to autoimmune disorders in the form of allergies, asthma, and eczema. In more severe cases of gut dysbiosis, learning disabilities manifest such as ADHD, ADD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and others. Of course, there is sometimes an environmental “trigger” which instigates these disorders, but it is crucial to keep in mind that gut dysbiosis is the primary underlying cause.’

    People wonder why ADD etc. so common now, here is the answer. If women knew the truth about the pill, I do not think the majority would go on the pill.

    • louella

      Thanks for the information Karla. God designed our digestive systems….and every last little detail of our bodies. To interefere with this in an immoral way that is counter to His plans….bring a whole plethora of unforetold problems on all levels. And yet we never hear a peep about it.

      Well done and God Bless RoseMary Baker for telling it like it is. Now will the secular authorities listen and act…..or do they have another over riding agenda that cannot let the truth stand in its way. Time will tell.

    • Tim

      Karla, If you want to believe a conspiracy theory, the idea that gut dybiosis/ Candida colonisation has been largely invented/exagerated by the industry that makes those revolting bacterial probiotic drinks is a fairly believable one to me. Hypocontriacts and quack-nutritionalists have always been obsessed with their (and other people’s) digestive tracts.

      There are enough genuine side-effects of the pill for people to not need to make fake ones up.

      If you are going to quote scientific studies, you need to learn how to spot the large amount of fakery out their.

      http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/fad.html and http://www.badscience.com are good places to start,

      • Karla

        Huh? Didn’t you read the article, it clearly says that it can not be changed by probiotics or diet change once you have the pathogenic strain, so it has no benefit to the probiotic drink industry.

        • Tim

          I did read it. My suspecion that the article is part of the quack “nutrition”/”food intolerance”/”de-tox” industry is caused by the fact that the article is not in a peer reviewed journal. The Pubmed database shows that Dr Campbell McBride is has apparently never authored a peer reviewed article. and she is the founder of a nutritional suplement company – http://www.behealthy.org.uk/ and devisionof the fad GAPS diet- no conflict of interest there then?

          Using science to support your position is good, Just so long as it really is science.

          • Karla

            A Dr has authored this, so perhaps it will be pier reviewed in the future, the facts are there. If others in the pharmecutical industry would be actually willing to look further in to it is another thing.

          • Tim

            People with “Dr” in front of their name can be as mistaken as anyone else (I have “Dr” in front of my name, and I am sure you think I am mistaken on many things) especially when they are so personally involved in the issue (Dr Cambell McBride has a son that she claims she successfully treated of autism by changing his diet to influence gut flora. Of course her son wasn;t on the pill, but I guess that if you are able to move the story on from the autism (which effects a small minority of people) to the pill (taken by two thirds of fertile women) you have many more customers for your book).

            I find the physcology of this fascinating. You trust this one woman because she is a doctor and yet are prepared to distrust all the other doctors who take the mainstream medical view on this.

            It isn’t just the lack of peer review that troubles me. It is the fact that Dr Mcbride’s book presents conclusions without explaining how the results are obtained. You can’t just say “these types of drugs devastate beneficial bacterial flora in the gut leaving it vulnerable to colonization and dominance from pathogenic strains such as Candida Albicans, Streptococci and Staphylococci among others”, unless you have evidence that someone has actually taken samples of microbes from teh guts of women on the pill (and a suitable control group).

            You are wrong in thinking that pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession are not looking into this. There has been quite alot of research into oral contraceptives and gut flora, not least because gut flora can be involved in metabolism of the synthetic estrogens in the pill with potential consequences for contraceptive failure. The references below are a good starting point if you want to understand the real secience behind the issue.

            1.Dickinson BD, Altman RD, Nielsen NH, Sterling ML. Drug interactions between oral contraceptives and antibiotics. Obstet Gynecol. 2001;98:853-860. Abstract
            2.Archer JS, Archer DF. Oral contraceptive efficacy and antibiotic interaction: a myth debunked. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;46:917-923. Abstract
            3.Blumenthal PD, Edelman A. Hormonal contraception. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112:670-684. Abstract
            4.Miller DM, Helms SE, Brodell RT. A practical approach to antibiotic treatment in women taking oral contraceptives. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994;30:1008-1011. Abstract
            5.Weaver K, Glasier A. Interaction between broad-spectrum antibiotics and the combined oral contraceptive pill. A literature review. Contraception. 1999;59:71-78. Abstract
            6.Burroughs KE, Chambliss ML. Are antibiotics related to oral combination contraceptive failures? Arch Fam Med. 2000;9:81-82.
            7.American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Use of hormonal contraception in women with coexisting medical conditions. ACOG Practice Bulletin. 2006;107:1453-1472. Abstract

          • Karla

            Her son wouldn’t of taken the pill, he is a male and a child. I never said I distrust other doctors, but I think you have to look at all views, and not just the ones that are accepted by the mainstream. And I do not think there is a mainstream view that is so unnaccepeting of Dr Natascha’s view, a lot of the side effects of the pill are known, they change your hormones etc. and not for the better for the most of women. It is likely a lot of side effects of the pill are not known because research has not been done in the long terms. The pill is only 50 years old, I do not know if it is going on at the momnent but there should be a long study of the women that have had pill, and there future children.

          • Tim

            Karla,

            The pill has side-effects in some women for sure. My wife tried it for a short while and it made her grumpy and miserable so we gave up on it very quickly. However, many people have no problem with it (it wouldn;t be so popular if everyone had bad side effects).

            The problem of Dr Natasha’s research is not that it is not mainstream science, it is that it is not science (because it doesn’t follow scientific standards of publication, peer reveiw and providing all the evidence and details of the methods used). It is not much more than an assention without eveidence and what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          • Karla

            Tim, grumpiness and feeling miserable are side efects of the actual effects which are the changing hormones inside the body, your changing your physiology.

            I am all for more research being done on Dr Natasha’s assertions.

          • Tim

            “I am all for more research being done on Dr Natasha’s assertions”.

            It wouldn’t be “more research” because to date there has been no research.

          • Karla

            Well what do you think, she just made up these things? There must be some reason why she has come to this as a doctor, and that should be looked into. Maybe she goes in to it in her book, I have not read it.

    • sam mace

      karla an environmental trigger for dyspraxia? i have dyspraxia and it is a special educational difficulty which affects people in different ways. It is when the neurons of a certain part of the cerebral cortex aren’t linked up quite correctly, it used to be called clumsy child syndrome, e.g. tripping up a lot. I highly doubt a problem with your gut could cause someone to have dyspraxia.

      • Tim

        Sam, You are quite right of course. But as someone with dyspraxia perhaps you can see how appealing the quack hypothesis that your condition is caused by gut flora might be to some people. If only you could cure your condition by something as simple as buying Dr Mcbride’s book and following her GAPS diet. You can see how people get drawn into this wish-thinking. People who prey on those with medical conditions by offering false hope of a medical cure for which their is no avidence (whether that be faith healers or fad-diet pedlers) are beyond contempt.

  • Tim

    “The teenage pregnancy statistics for the UK are terrifying”

    I agree, but it isn’t as simple as that….

    Firstly, 10% of UK teenage mothers are married.

    Secondly, whilst the UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the EU, it has steadily fallen from a peak in 1971 and is now at the lowest level since the 1950s. This fall hasn’t been caused by the adoption of church teaching has it? The church’s power and authority has declined since 1971 has it not? I suspect that the greater availabilty of contraception and abortion has actually also has very little impact either, compared with the increasing levels of wealth and teenagers prolonging their education into their late teens. We need to stop viewing teenagers who fall pregnant as victims of society. People are not half as daft as we sometimes think that are. Many teenagers get pregant at least half deliberrately or carelessly because they cannot see an alternative future for themsleves. If you give young people a the promise of a good future you would massively incentivise them to be more responsible with sex and pregnancy. It is no coincidence that the highest levels of teenage pregnancy is is places like Hull and Middlesborough which also have the lowest GCSE pass rates. If you really want to reduce teenage pregnacy, you would be improving the schools in those areaa and encouraging the kids to aspire to going to university. That would have a far more significant impact that either thowing condoms at the problem or engaging in religious moralising. The teenage pregnancy rate in Rutland is one fifth that of Lambeth. Is this due to religious differences or socio-economic factors? – as Clinton said – “its the economy stupid”

    Thirdly, the UK is at or near the top of the EU table for drug and alcohol misuse. I don;t think that this is a coincidence. You would have a bigger impact on teenage pregancy by tightening up on alcohol sales than condom sales.

    Forthly. A significant fraction estimated to be between 30 and 50% of teenagers who get pregnant do so because they do not use contraception, not because it fails. It is illogical to blame those pregancies on availability of contraction because no contraception use is even attempted.

    Fifthly, many unwanted pregnancies turn into wanted births. An unplanned pregnancy needn’t always be a complete disaster and some teenage parents are great parents given the required support. In my view religious moralising over unmarried sex has an unfortunate side effect of making people feel guilty about unplanned pregnancy. Whilst that may deter some from getting pregnant, it must also encourage others to have abortions or give their childen up for adoption rather than bring up their own kids which is surely the best option. I would note that Scandinavia generally has a low level of teenage pregancy but that Iceland, a country I know quite well, has rates almost as high as the UK. However, I think it is fair to say that teenage pregnancy in the UK is more of a problem than in Iceland because Iceland has less of a stigma about single mothers (due to the fact that fishermen fathers are often absent at sea or drowned anyway in traditional Icelandic socisty). Teenage pregnancy is not ideal, but there is not a strict correlation between a big teenage pregancy rate and a big teenage pregnancy problem. Many teenage parents and their kids go on to do very well and stigmatising them doesn;t help that.

    • louella

      Tim there are many good single mothers …teenagers and older. But I can’t help thinking that these mothers would much much rather be married to the father in Holy Matrimony. It’s such a pity that our society is ordered such that in certain circles….this is most likely not to be the case. In fact…it’s like marriage has been bred out of our society. What a downer.

      I see these women all the time….and for their sakes and the sake of their children it’s such a pity that there is not a loving husband and father in the background. That’s the price of secularism I guess.

    • Karla

      Condoms have a 15% failiure rate, if anyone is looking to condoms to prevent pregnancy, they have their faith misplaced. People will always find a way to get alcohol, if they are underage they will get someone older to go in to a shop and buy it for them, teenagers drinking alcohol and/or drug use is likely related to family structure. I am sure most teenage mothers know they are not in an deal situation, that they love their child but they would rather be older, more settled and likely married.

      • Tim

        “Condoms have a 15% failiure rate, if anyone is looking to condoms to prevent pregnancy, they have their faith misplaced.”

        You need to be careful with quoting failure rates. It isn’t the case that 15% of comdoms fail. The statistic is that 15% of sexually active women who use condoms (in real world situations) for a year become pregnant each year. Only 2.5% become pregant if they use condoms “perfectly” for a year. Without contraception 85% of women will get pregnant per year. So condoms are much better than nothing but far from perfect. This is all quoted on the packaging and taught in sex-ed classes by the way.

        “teenagers drinking alcohol and/or drug use is likely related to family structure.”

        I agree, Family structure and peers and social and cultural factors are more important than prohibition.

        “I am sure most teenage mothers know they are not in an deal situation, that they love their child but they would rather be older, more settled and likely married.”

        I agree with you here as well. But I think that there is a difference between us in that you are a utopian (“if only everyone followed Catholic teaching the problem would be completely solved”) which I frankly think is over-optimistic and unrelaistic and lacking in evidence because never been a perfect Catholic society. I am a meliorist (“it is unrealistic and there is no evidence to suggest that we can ever completely solve social problems like unwanted pregnancy and abortion, but that doesn’t mean than we can’t try and succeed on making steady progress on such matters”). It is far to easy to blame social problems on secularism of lack of proper Catholicism etc, but does that really do anything to solve the problem. I’d much rather politicians stopped listening to hand-wringing religious leaders and rolled their sleeves up and took a look at the world and as it and set this country realistic targets for improvement rather than prefection (“get our teenage pregnany rate to that of Grermany in 10 years” or “take our abortion rate to that of Belgium for example”). Meliorism means accepting that interventions have unwanted consequnces as well as wanted consequences but logically balancing the negative and positive outcomes and deciding what to do on evidence.

        • Karla

          Oh come on Tim, it says all over the internet, including websites giving info on contraception that condoms are 99% effective, this is a lie.

          Some of the failure rates are are due to human error, perhaps not wearing a condom properly, but humans make errors. You are dealing with life here, reproduction, and disease from contradicting STDS.

          Even if you use a condom perfectly every time you would have sex, there is still a failure rate according to the FDA one in 250 condoms fail, and it has nothing to do with how you use a condom, but as a result of how the condom was made.

          Tim, I understand that everyone is not Catholic, but just say if everyone in a HIV ridden country became devout Catholics, HIV would be rid within a generation wheras the idea of pushing contraception on to that same country has many side effects such as encouaging people to have sex, to take more risks because they think contraception will save them, etc. Therefore it is far more likely HIV/AIDS would continue on, and we have real world examples such as Kenya, Botswana to make a comparison to Uganda. Thailand comparison to Phillipines. Politicians listening to religious leaders? Not in the UK.

          • sam mace

            Ugandan aids was cleared up by using abc, abstinence, be faithful and condoms, your church preached the lie that condoms DON’T work. Your theory i am sorry would fail, people would still have sex, it happened in England when we were a deeply religious country and it happens there as well. Condoms isn’t the only answer, there are other methods of contraception which people should be more aware of.

          • Tim

            “Oh come on Tim, it says all over the internet, including websites giving info on contraception that condoms are 99% effective, this is a lie. ”

            The NHS website says 98% effective if used correctly which is prefectly true. It then goes on to teach you how to use them correctly.

            I find this debate amusing, because if condoms were as useless as you think that they are, they wouldn’t qualify as a contraceptive and the Church wouldn’t disapprove of them.

            “but just say if everyone in a HIV ridden country became devout Catholics, HIV would be rid within a generation” be realistic is that realy going to happen?. You have to deal with people as they really behave not how they would theoretically behave in your utopia.

          • louella

            Condoms actually undermine the work of chastity and abstinence….as they promote promiscuity (and a false sense of security) and despite their availability in the US…the incidence of new cases of AIDS is on the rise.

          • Karla

            Sam: 2004 Science study concluded that abstinence among young peopleand monogamy contributed to the decline in AIDS rather than condom use:

            http://www.sciencemag.org/content/304/5671/714.abstract

            Abstinence and monogamy is the reason HIV/AIDS declined, says the former director of the Havards AID Institute: http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/19631.html

            Edward C Green defended the Pope’s comments in Cameroon in 2009 about condoms contributing to the HIVs crisis, and Edward C Green is not Catholic, he describes himself as a ”liberal.”

          • Karla

            So the NHS is lying too, incredible, study after study has shown condoms have a 15% failiure rate, they are not 98% effective! The Church is against contraception because it acts as barrior to love, procreation and union.

            I do not live in a Utopia Tim, I live in this world, and I do not think its that odd to think that everyone could be Catholic and that people can follow Catholic teaching. I wonder if Jospehus or any of the early Jewish/Christian or Pagan writers would of thought Christianity would have as many followers as it does in 2011.

        • SpeSalvi23

          sam mace you might want to be informed (It might surely be a good idea to actually read beyond the sound bite interpretation of the statements of the Church and Pope by the MSM!!) that the Church / the Pope has said numerous time… that condoms ALONE don’t work!!
          And they don’t!! Since milliions of them have been dumped all over Africa and millions of them are available in rest rooms all over Europe!
          HIV is still a factor in Europe – condoms or not!

          Human sexuality has been abused by a huge billion dollar industry, which incluses the mass media and pharmaceutical corporations – including the very lucrative abortion business.
          If you actually believe that we’re being sexed up to the max for our own benefit, you might be a tiny bit wrong.

          • sam mace

            i am astonished by some of your comments, i am sorry but many statements made by representatives of the church have said condoms don’t work and shouldn’t be used. Louella, condoms don’t always work however when used correctly they have a 2% failure rate which is quite remarkable, now part of a good sex education is knowing how to put a condom on properly. Karla, I am sorry but it was the abc programme in Uganda, Stephen fry went there and worked with the authorities on this.

            Condoms don’t undermine that at all, all it does is increase the availability of safe sex, now that is something which most people want in this country. Condoms aren’t the solution to everything, of course people shouldn’t be overly promiscuous, however if two adults want to have sex together who am I to say no? if they are making a decision then why not tbh. I would argue aids is on the rise down to poor sex ed (for instance people having poor or no sex ed and just having sex with whoever without protection) and due to the fact aids is less feared now than it was, aids is a condition that can be dealt with, with a variety of medication for decades, indeed we have actually cured aids through blood transfusions.

          • sam mace

            if condoms were readily available in most african countries then aids wouldn’t be on the scale there that it is here, condoms don’t act as a barrier to love and union. It is a sensible precaution to take until you want a child or in case you are just hooking up with someone on a night out. Condoms don’t have a 15% failure rate, you misunderstand the term failure rate, the rates vary between each type from 0.5%-2.5%, most people use 2.5% because that is the latex failure rate which most use, however 15% do get pregnant, however that is when it isn’t applied properly.

          • louella

            Condoms are readily available in African and Asian nations. But because they promote promiscuity….they also aid in the spread of AIDS. Right now the incidence of AIDS is on the increase in the US and the UK. And there is also an epidemic in Chlamydia etc. So much for the effectiveness of condoms. Overall they lead to an increase in STD’s. Chastity before marriage and faithfulness in marriage are the best.

            BTW…in India…condoms are soooo plentiful that intrepid road builders mix them with tar….as they make great road surfaces!! Ho hum.

          • Karla

            Sam Mace: The countries with a majority Catholic population in Africa have the lowest HIV/AIDS rate. Because of Catholic teaching, abstinence before marriage etc.

            I am not misunderstand on the term ”failiure rate.”

            The FDA said one in 250 condoms fail because of leakage, so you can not blame how it is worn, but the actual product, the condom, that fails.

          • Tim

            Sam Mace,

            HIV/AIDS cannot be cured by blood transfusion or any other way. It can be treated and people can live with AIDS for much longer than used to be the case. That might make it appear a less scary disease. BUT there is still no cure and until there is prevention is the only way of tackling it.

            Good sex ed should be partly about dispelling myths including the one that HIV infection is cureable. It is not. It is still a fatal disease.

          • sam mace

            tim, there was a singular case of curing around a year ago, i was mistaken i think it was either multiple bloods over the years or it was a complete bone marrow transplant, whichever one it was it took many years and is inconvenient and not in a way a cure because it is that ridiculous. one of the two, we have created drugs which can help deal with it. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7726118.stm this is the article. It is only an option for a few people but it can help some, my mistake though it was not a general cure.

            Again members of your church including bishops have proclaimed that condoms do not work and shouldn’t be used. Sorry if it is hard for you to accept but it is true.

          • SpeSalvi23

            I rest my case with hopeless cases.

          • Tim

            Sam Mace, I ain’t a member of any church. I think we are on the same side in this argument. I was just correcting your misconception that AIDS can be cured. It can’t which means that the only way to not die of AIDS is to not get infected with HIV.

            I am all in favour of condoms (along with other preventative measures). The idea that they can’t be trusted because they leak due to some inherent technical defect amuses me as I spent 3 years of my life in a lab handing HIV samples in vitro wearing gloves (two pairs always) made of exactly the same latex material by a firm called London International who are the company behind Durex.

  • diffal

    Congratulations to Rose-Mary Baker for writing this article and to the journal for publishing it. I can’t wait to see the responses next week. It was this illogical and damaging policy of throwing contraception at the problem to make it go away, rather than encouraging responsible behaviour, that made me leave community Pharmacy in the first place.

    Instant and irresponsible gratification in the realm of smoking(Cancer) and eating(obesity) are frowned upon to the point where it is becoming socially unacceptable to to either. So why is consequence free irresponsible sex (as long as you use “protection”)practically encouraged?

    It is getting harder and harder to be a pro-life pharmacist but at least hospital is better in that respect for now.

  • sam mace

    generally the better the sex education the better things will be, at my school it was well recognised that we had the best sex education in the area and we had one pregnancy in the 5 years i was there, and that pregnancy was after she left the school. If teenagers are taught about sex, contraception and sexuality then generally accidents won’t happen, and they will make an informed choice before having sex. Rather than just saying sex is bad, say sex is something we enjoy and it is a healthy expression of love, however state the complicated processes of coming to that decision to have sex and say that for many it is a very emotional decision. It is worth noting that actually people have always had sex before marriage, the difference nowadays to that of the 30′s is that the man is not forced to marry the women, the statistics show that 30% of all brides who were wedded in the good old days were pregnant already, and the man was forced into marriage. We in the u.k. generally have poor sex education and this does need to be improved.

    • Tim

      “It is worth noting that actually people have always had sex before marriage,”

      True, If anyone is interested in the historical aspects of this, I am currently reading “Intimate Lives; Sex before the Sexual Revolution” which contains facinating interviews with married couples living between 1918 and 1963. The level of ignorance (which wasn’t so much due to lack of information as to deliberate aviodance of the available information out of the idea that ignorance, especially in women, was atractive, incluing sexually attractice) of those people about sexual matters, even after marriage, is both sweetly touching and shocking. It piants a picture of a world that was in many ways, good and bad, very very different to the world today whilst at the same shows that some aspects of human nature are the same as ever.

      I would heartly recomend it to anyone. It doesn’t have an ideological axe to grind but lets the voices of the interviewees come though the pages beautifully.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sex-Before-Sexual-Revolution-1918-1963/dp/0521149320/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

    • louella

      Sam….sex education has coincided with a rise in abortion,teenage pregnancies fornication and the spread of STD’s across the Western world. How much more time do we need to devote to ‘sex eductation’ before people like you are safisfied. Two days a week…would that eliminate teenage pregnancies….and even adult pregnancies for you?!

      Women and children are the great losers in today’s promiscuous societies. But of course we all eventually lose…as more moral disciplined and family oriented people supplant us in the West. I guess….in the end…it’s the good that survive….and inherit the earth.

      • sam mace

        actually our sex education in this country is appalling, our school was the only one in the area to have regular education about it once a week. It is about quality rather than quantity as well, it needs to be detailed and thorough outlining all opinions and leaving kids to make their own decisions. It is better people know about sex than not knowing and to make a statement to the opposite is damaging and quite frankly ludicrous. No-one wants to eliminate adult pregnancies, it is well known that the more intelligent and educated a society becomes then the less children they tend to produce, this isn’t a problem at the moment because of immigration and we aren’t too far behind the birth rate to keep up with our population.

        • louella

          Sex education is one of the better taught subject. Pupils and teachers both seem to relish it. I hear its more popular than algegbra. And just how much detailing do you want?! I mean how intricate must we get before children know how babies are produced..or more likely are not to be produced. LOL….algebra is far more difficult…yet nobody is calling for more algebra. It says a lot about our ‘culture’ doesn’t it.

          And Satan wants to eliminate adult pregnancies. And so it seems do the government and bien pensants. Free abortion….free contraception….easy divorce….all this points to a society that views children as an obstacle…that should be kept to a minimum. This is not the sign of a more intelligent and educated society…(our education system is the pits)…..but the sign of a depraved degenerate selfish society.

        • Karla

          I think sam mace, that is rare, in most schools, non faith schools you have sex education at least once a week.

          I think there should be a public debate as to where a school has sex education at all, is it really the job of a school to teach you these things, I do not think so.

          Sex education needs to be revised, in all of Europe, you need a system like America which has Abstience Plus, where abstience is taught alongside the usual.

      • sam mace

        also we aren’t that more promiscuous than before in all reality, it is simply when someone is pregnant we don’t force people to marry each other. We can also live together without it being called living in sin nowadays as well, these were all things that have changed but it doesn’t mean we are a more promiscuous society, we have just changed in how we deal with our promiscuity, sex is a healthy expression of how we feel to one another and is a lot like food in the fact it is jolly, enjoyable can be quite dark and we have a healthy interest in it.

        • louella

          Our society is more promiscuous now. And if you don’t want to marry a person….then don’t use them and sleep with them. It shows just how much a person is disregarded…that someone wants to sleep with them…but not marry them. Self gratification at the expense of another person’s life and time. Nasty!

          And of course you have an interest in sexuality….it’s all about selfish self gratification….and now not even to do with the survival of the species. A dead end I would say.

      • Tim

        “sex education has coincided with a rise in abortion,teenage pregnancies fornication and the spread of STD’s across the Western world.”

        How many times do I need to point out that this is not true (or at least not completely true). In the UK teenage pregnancies are at the lowest point since the 1950s!

        • louella

          Tim….you will have to provide proof before you can make a statement like that. Proof please!

          Also ….I bet there are more teenage abortions now than in the 1950′s. So we have a kind of a pretend honour isn’t it!

        • Karla

          I think the teen pregnancy rates could be misleading, because of the abortion rate among teenagers that get pregnant, if a large percentage of them have an abortion, they are not going to be counted in the teen pregnancy rate are they?

          • sam mace

            yes they will, they will be counted as getting pregnant Karla, louella, you don’t have to marry someone to want to sleep with them. It isn’t about self gratification whatsoever, it is about liking them and them liking you, and falling in love and then make a mutual decision, i will never convert you i know but your views on this are down right dangerous and could lead to hundreds if not thousands of deaths quite frankly. We have a healthy attitude towards sex we embrace it but don’t see it as an eventuality, you seem almost scared of it before marriage and again something dirty which it frankly isn’t. Most people had sexual relations before marriage in the olden days, we are simply more open about it now, also most std rates are dropping with the exception of chlamydia I believe.

          • Tim

            You are right to take care with the stats on this. My understanding is that the pregnancy rate is uneffected by abortion but the birth rate is. The drop in the pregancy rate since 1971 is caused by fewer conceptions not by increased abortions.

            There is a complicating wrinkle depending on how you view the morning after pill, which I know is viewed by some as abortion, use of this would effect the pregnancy rate as counted.

            Wherether of not the morning after pill is abortion is another argument. But if you regard life as beginning at fertilisation rather than implantation (ie, if you take the catholic position) then the mornign after pill will sometimes cause an abortion by preventing implantation. I say “sometimes” because there is another argument about just how the morning after pill works. It certainly does on occasion prevent implantation, but the major mechanism of action appear to be supression of ovulation. If there is no ovulation, there can be no fertilisation and their can be no abortion. My understanding is that the morning after pill therefore causes some abortions (so there is logic in opposing it if you are anti-abortion), but not many (so morning fater pill induced abortions are unlikely to signifiantly change the pregnany rate).

    • Karla

      I find this ideal of protecting sex education as a bastion of reducing STDS and teen prgenancy as being false. Sex education has been accompanied by everything it claims to reduce and get rid of. If we were living, and I do not not like terminology ‘third world country” but if we lived in a third world country you could argue that teachers were not trained enough etc.and that coudl explain high STD rate, high teen pregnancy rate etc. but we do not, we live in a highly develoepd country where sex education is taught by qualified teachers and yet you have the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe, you have growing HIV/AIDS problem, and STDS continue to rise, that should not be the result if sex education really worked.

      • sam mace

        karla you don’t listen our sex education is poor in the main part, most kids get one lesson a year then do citizenship, this is why pregnancy rates are high, because sex education is very poor but it is better than africa, which is why sexual wise with disease we are much better off but not good enough, by the way tim is right i saw it on a bbc article,

        • Karla

          Study after study has been done on sex education, the free giving out of condoms and morning after pills has been tried, it has not reduced STDS, teen pregnancy etc.

          • sam mace

            again you don’t address the point, these can be given out but if they aren’t taught to use them correctly which in many cases aren’t, then these tools are redundant. Please tell me swedens or norways or germany’s pregnancy rate is. Our sex ed is poor karla, the last government admitted this and so do many others.

          • Karla

            Denmark and Sweden both have 7 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2002, Norway 11 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2002.

            Italy and Spain 6 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2002 in both countries.

            http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator.cfm?IndicatorID=127

            There seems to be a correlation between countries where there are traditional values, and where there is a social stigma with teen pregnancy, there is then less teen pregnancy.

          • Karla

            Sex ed program in Scotland over three years, scientists discovered it did not delay intercourse improve use of contraceptives or reduce pregnancies or abortions. The government decided to continue the program because students reported feeling less regret about the first time they slept with their most recent partner.

            M. Henderson, et al., “Impact of a Theoretically Based Sex Education Programme (SHARE) Delivered by Teachers on NHS Registered Conceptions and Terminations: Final Results of Cluster Randomised Trial,” British Medical Journal (November 21, 2006), 4.

            http://www.bmj.com/content/334/7585/133.full

            In England in 1999 the government put 15 million pounds in to sex education, Students where offered condoms, morning after pills, while having ” safe sex” in schools. In March 2004 they found that STD rates had gone up 64%, teens pregnancies where also up, some areas experience 34% overall leap. The greatest increases where in areas where the program had been implemented.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1456789/Teen-pregnancies-increase-after-sex-education-classes.html

            A study showed that 3 our of 4 college men did not use condoms, despite the fact that over 80% had received sex education.

            Richard Crosby, et al., “Condom Use Errors and Problems Among College Men,” Sexually Transmitted Diseases 29 (2002), 552–57.

            http://tiny.cc/49np5

            http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/publications/PDF/STDSep2002.pdf

            Let me excuse what your excuse will be, none of those sex ed programs where good enough.

  • Karla

    Deacon do you know where my post is on here, it was a post with the different African countries and Catholic populations, HIV rate?

  • SpeSalvi23

    I’m constantly amazed by the importance factor of sex for so many people.
    It’s as if there would be no life possible without it!

    People survive without jumping the next willing person in a club, you know!
    They even survive without pornography induced adultery!

    Don’t you give the human race enough credit to actually be the master of their bodies and not the other way around??

    Are you not stronger than your own sex drive??

    Do you completely disregard intelligence? Rationality? Self discipline (Oh no… the evil word!!)?

    If I know that having sex at this moment with that particular person is dangerous to my health, hurtful to others or just plain wrong for whatever reason – I just won’t have sex!

    That’s it!

    It’s the sense of wrongness of having sex like rabbits that has goen missing.

    • sam mace

      spe salvi it isn’t important, kids deserve to know the facts and the truth however, they deserve to have good sex education in which they can understand their sexual desires and what they mean and how to be safe if/when they have sex.We have a healthy attitude towards it, we like it, we find it enjoyable, but we aren’t obsessed by it.

      • Karla

        You can promote contraception all you like, it will not stop the fact that it has huge failure rates.

        Birth control clearly does not prevent ”unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.”

        People are more likely to have an ”unplanned” pregnancy if they believe birth control will save them.

        • sam mace

          first of all it depends on what birth control you use, there are many different types which have different success rates.

          • Karla

            Sure, but when your dealing with STDS, many of which are incurable even say 0.1% is too risky for many.

      • spesalvi23

        Not obsessed with it??
        Please… be honest, here.
        Sex dominates the media, advertizing, television, newspapers,….

        If you really ARE not obsessed with it…then why obsess so much about the Church’s point of view.
        You don’t seen to have any kind of believe – so, fine – go ahead and indulge and be happy with it.

        Others prefer to value sex for what it truly is and for what it means to your heart and to your soul.
        Regarding it as just another spare time activity, like a round of golf or watching TV, belittles it gigantically.

        But, maybe this is more obvious to women who sadly have been the victims of the sexual revolution, considering the way women are regarded and exploited as sex objects more than anything else.

        • sam mace

          well i don’t regard sex as sacred but an important decision and not like a round of golf or watching the television, places like sweden which is a modern secular democracy shows good sex ed does pay off. For me to measure sex ed over a 3 yesr period is not the best idea, kit will have teething problems and should be measured over a 10 year period or a generation. It is good that people felt less guilty about having sex, it is better that people know than that people don’t and are petrified. Again we aren’t, we have a healthy passion, you are obsessed with sex, finding the sex in everything and judging us. I do not deny abstinence does work but so does good sex ed, and so do condoms when taught to put on right. Also teenage pregnancy rates are dropping at the moment.

          • Karla

            There is a correlation between countries where there are traditional values and social stigma to teen pregnancy and low teen pregnancy rates, I think that is far more of a factor than sex ed.

    • Tim

      Spesalvi, There may be a generational thing at work here, with those who where the first beneficiaries/victims of the advantages/drawbacks of the sexual and feminist revolutions having more of a problem over responsible sex as they also seem to have a problem with regarding childcare as a worthwhile pursute and work-life balance in general.

      Sometimes I feel like at 35 I am caught between a selfish-materialistic generation older than me (generation X) and a generation younger than me that is more reponsible, at ease with itself and, possibly, happier (generation Y).

      At work I am involved in recruitment and training of young people who are 18 to 25 year olds. I actually get to know these people pretty well. They come from a wide variety of edcuational and class backgrounds (some have PhDs others are straight out of school). And whilst there are some selfish and irresponsible ones, the vast vast majority of them surpringly mature, responsible and decent. Sometimes I feel like telling them “you are young – live a little” (I don’t of course). They are all working hard, getting engaged, saving for a house and generally being sensible (with their careers, their sexuality, their money, their friendships). It shocks me when you go for a drink with them and after a couple they decide to go home to get a good night’s sleep because I am sure I wasn’t then sensible when I was that age. They are on the whole surpremely uninterested in both religion (not that they are hostile to it, they are just completely uninterested) (perhaps more worryingly they are often indifferent to politics also) and they don’t therefore follow Christian morality, but it would be wide of the mark to say that they don’t have a well formed moral sense. They are deeply loyal to their partners and their friends and the idea of picking someone up for a one night stand would be unappealing (and they can be very critical of their peers who do so), not because they think it is a sin, but because they have the sense to see that ultimately it would be an unsatisfying experience. I am therefor hopeful for the future.

  • Tim

    @Karla,

    “Denmark and Sweden both have 7 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2002, Norway 11 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2002.

    Italy and Spain 6 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2002 in both countries.

    http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator.cfm?IndicatorID=127

    There seems to be a correlation between countries where there are traditional values, and where there is a social stigma with teen pregnancy, there is then less teen pregnancy.”

    Yes but the number of births in the UK is something like 29 per 1,000 women which makes the difference btween sweden and Spain seem tiny. We would have a huge improvement if we emulated Spain or Italy (where there is more of a stigma than in the UK) or Sweden or Denmark (where there is less of a stigma than in the UK).

    There are two approaches and they BOTH seem to work, you either stigmatise and scare (with the nasty side effect that you make it harder for those people who do make mistakes and get pregnant and for their inocent kids) or you inform and encourage personal reponsibility (with the risk that if you just inform without making the case for responsibility you encourage more irresponsible behaviour). Problem in the UK is that we fail to take either course. We don’t stigmatise because we are fairly secularised and most of us don’t think that sex outside of marriage is sinful, and we don’t inform and encourage personal responsibility because we are not secular enough and this prevents openness in sexual matters.

    Personally, I think we should go with the Sweden/Denmark approach because I think it is achiveable in the UK. It is unrealistic to go with the Italy/Spain approach until such time as we have similar religious sentiments and traditions to those countries. I suspect that the “Catholic approach” works best in Catholic countries and would fail in the Uk because most teenagers are non-religious and would shrug off any attempt at religious moralising.

    If we are comparing countries (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_teenage_pregnancy for an easy way to do this) I would say that the Netherlands is what we ought to be copying as it has a low teenage pregnancy rate AND a low abortion rate (and to my mind abortion rate is much more important as abortion is a far greater evil than teenage pregnancy).

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