The Internet has been abuzz this week with talk of the “pullout generation”—women who eschew modern birth control methods in favor of “coitus interruptus.” It’s a method that has been around since the dawn of time and has likely averted millions of pregnancies, but is it really good enough?
Using withdrawal may have sometimes protected you, but you’ve been lucky — and at risk for a sexually transmitted infection.
Any time a friend has described their method of birth control as
“pulling out,” I instinctively give them a judgmental look. We won
Griswold v. Connecticut. We can buy condoms at any corner store. Sure,
Plan B is over the counter, but why risk it?
What Guttmacher researchers tripped over in a discussion about withdrawal’s role in risk mitigation was that the public at large has strong stereotypes and opinions about withdrawal, and the people who use it.
To my surprise, my recent article in the journal Contraception on the effectiveness of withdrawal in preventing pregnancy unleashed a mini-storm of commentary in the blogosphere.
A new study assessing the withdrawal method finds it is nearly as effective as condoms. Should we teach it to teenagers?
Despite the taboo against unprotected sex, it turns out that the
withdrawal method, a.k.a. pulling out, is nearly as effective as condom
use when used properly. As more evidence surfaces about the reality of
withdrawal, should we include it in comprehensive sexual education?
Texas legislature considers ultrasound bill; withdrawal is more effective than previously thought; Americans United for Life planning to “have fun” with Supreme Court nomination fight; photographs of Rwandan rape survivors and their children.