Being A Grown-Up: Safe Sex

The HSE Crisis Pregnancy Program released their Irish Contraceptive and Crisis Pregnancy Study 2010 today which recorded the use of contraceptive, experiences of crisis pregnancy and abortion, and attitudes towards sex in Ireland. As reported in the Irish Times today, there are some positive findings such as more teenagers uses contraceptive during their first time having sex, over 70% of adults have received sex education at some point in their lives, and around 90% of active sexual adults report using contraception in 2010.

However there are some ‘what the fuck’ moments in the reading of the report, particularly in relation to what can only be assumed to be casual sexual relations. One of the findings of the report is that contraceptive use in scenarios where sex wasn’t planned or prepared for has now increased but yet, a later finding in the survey indicate that there still are value-laden judgements being made about women who take care of their own sexual health when they are engaging in casual sex.

24% of adults feel that when a woman who is not in a relationship carries condoms she gives the impression that she is ‘easy’ or looking for sex.

When this statistic is divided to account for gender, it appears that 28% of men and 21% of women would judge a woman who carries condoms outside of a monogamous relationship as being easy. I don’t want to sound like a cranky auld one stating the bleeding obvious here, but surely if you are having one-night stands or have a fuck-buddy arrangement, you need to make sure you are being responsible and safe. Evidently there still are some archaic viewpoints when it comes to sex in Ireland in relation to female sexuality of the ‘he’s a stud, she’s a slut’ variety.

I think most adults would agree with this, if you are going to have sex, you should use safe, reliable contraception. If you use condoms, you need to be able to put them on properly, and if you take the pill, you need to take it everyday without fail. It’s simple. Furthermore, you should be able to buy contraception and talk to your sexual partner about it without embarrassment. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be having sex.

Obviously contraceptives can still fail as nothing is 100% fail-safe but why take chances due to embarrassment or contraceptive being the other person’s job? In my opinion, it is clear that any woman who carries condoms with her when she goes out for the night with her friends or goes on a date is being responsible and should be applauded for thinking ahead, instead of taking chances.

Do you agree with the 24% who think women are easy if they carry condoms, or are they are thinking ahead and being responsible?

[Full Report]

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