in brief: study finds access to birth control does not encourage ‘risky’ sex
According to a new study released this week by Obstetrics & Gynaecology journal in the United States, no-cost access to birth control does not encourage women to engage in risky or ‘promiscuous’ sexual behaviour. The study tracked the sexual behaviour of 7,751 women aged between 14 and 45 years, all of whom were given free birth control for a year.
Interestingly, the results of the research found that the women surveyed actually experienced a decrease in the number of sexual partners: ‘while 5.2 per cent of the women reported having more than one male sexual partner in the past 30 days upon recruitment, 3.5 per cent did so at month six and 3.3 per cent did so at month twelve.’ The results also found that the vast majority of the women (70 per cent) reported no change in their number of sexual partners, 13 per cent had fewer, and only 16 per cent reported having more sexual partners.
The researchers also found that there was no increase in the rate of sexually transmitted disease among study participants.
The study’s senior author, Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, concluded that ‘the notion that women will have sex with more partners if you give them free birth control didn’t pan out in this study. It’s not the contraception that drives [women’s] sexual behaviour.’
The results of this study disprove media alarmism and conservatism surrounding free birth control, and the linkage to irresponsible sexual behaviour, teen sexing (and even punishment for having pre-martial sex) or even going so far as conservative American radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh as somehow, somehow, equating free birth control with prostitution(???)
This week, Alaskan State Senator Fred Dyson argued against expanding family planning services in his state, claiming that to do so would amount to funding sexual ‘recreation’ with taxpayer funds.
Perhaps the results of this study should be distributed more widely amongst these people who, frighteningly, are responsible for any kind of implementation in the United States of regulation and coverage of birth control.