On October 17, 2012, I published on my website an article entitled Society’s enemies: Condoms and birth control, found at https://jaclynhollandstrauss.com/2012/10/17/societys-enemies-condoms-and-birth-control/. I also sent it to a Facebook group, Saint Mary’s University Philosophy Society shortly afterward. A response to my article can be found if you join that group. Here is my response to that article:
There are 2 main issues that I take with the response to my article on Society’s enemies: Condoms and birth control. One is that The Joy of (Protected) Sex by Daniel Traynor-Mckinnon does not address what I believe to be a couple of very important issues. One false belief is that since animals love sex, and humans love sex, humans should emulate animals in their approach to sex. However, the fundamental difference between humans and animals is that humans have cognitive thought processes, which allow them to address the issue of consequences. Animals are indiscriminate, not necessarily in terms of sex, although of course sometimes they are. However, in general, they are indiscriminate because they do not have the freedom to analyze or think on a rational basis, weighing different arguments, etc. Human beings suffer adverse consequences, sometimes as a result of risky behaviour, and sometimes as a result of chance or accident. Protected sex can give the illusion of security where little exists. Condoms can break. They work most of the time, but they do break. And when they break, they can not only result in the children that many people do not want, but disease, which assuredly no one wants. Animals do plenty of things that human should not necessarily imitate, and some of them involve bodily functions, too.
Another problem I have with the article is that Traynor-Mckinnon contends that the ’60s saw a sexual revolution and life has been better since. I fail to see how this is so. There have been a lot more abortion since the ’60s. Family life in the West has fallen apart. The economy has gotten worse to the point where mother and father both work just to keep up with the neighbours, and sometimes even just to possess basic necessities. Children do not come home to mothers waiting at the door anymore, taking a break from cooking and creating a pleasant atmosphere for the family to come home to. In fact, we have degenerated so far as a society that many people are offended by what I have just described as representing the family ideal.
But no one has yet come up with a better alternative to the nuclear family. Condom use might suggest to a man that it is okay to cheat on his wife because she will not catch anything since he is wearing a condom. Or his mistress is not going to get pregnant because he is going to wear a condom. But the truth is the marriage is still collapsing because the ideal of two people becoming one has been fundamentally compromised. Wearing a condom might suggest to a teenager (who is physically but perhaps not emotionally ready to have sex) that protected sex means sex with no consequences. Condom use might suggest to someone that anal sex does not have any consequences. But condoms break.
I can acknowledge that people love sex. And that it is understandable to want to come up with a way that makes it as safe as possible. But I think very sincerely that condoms have done a lot more harm than good.