|According to Planned Parenthood, this is the history of the condom...|
The earliest known illustration of a man using a condom during sexual intercourse is painted on the wall of a cave in France. It is 12,000-15,000 years old. We know that condoms have been used to protect against sexually transmitted infection since the sixteenth century and to prevent unwanted pregnancy since the eighteenth century. Since the 19th century, American moralists — who have misunderstood or denied its public health benefits — have attacked condom use.
As a result, those who cared more about the control of human sexuality than about the prevention of sexually transmitted infection and unwanted pregnancy have stymied public health efforts toward increased condom use in the U.S for most of the 20th century. During World War I, for example, U.S. allies, such as New Zealand, gave their troops condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infection. But social hygienists in the U.S. forced the American Armed Expeditionary Forces to adopt a chastity campaign — they were opposed to any prophylactic prevention of sexually transmitted infection. Consequently, in 1919 alone, U.S. troops reported a yearly admissions rate of 766.55 per 1,000 for sexually transmitted infection.
| More WWI troops were hospitalized for VD thanall injuries combined.|
In the last several years, anti-sex, anti-choice radicals have reverted to a shameless distortion of scientific fact in order to discourage condom use. Three myths propagated by this anti-condom misinformation campaign are particularly dangerous. The first myth purports that talking about condoms or giving people condoms will make them sexually promiscuous. The second claims that condoms cause AIDS because HIV allegedly passes through microscopic pores in the latex. The third blames condoms for cervical cancer. These outrageous myths are now so widespread that they are recited in Congress and have infected the sexuality education programs of more than a third of U.S. schools.
The effectiveness of condoms against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection has long been established. Further, information about and access to condoms clearly do not increase sexual activity among adolescents. One World Health Organization review of 19 studies found no evidence that sexuality education programs lead to earlier or increased sexual activity among teens. But easy access to condoms does encourage use among teens that are already sexually active. And teens need protection — at least 60.9% of twelfth-graders report having had sexual intercourse.
The truth about condoms is that they offer the best protection for the sexually active.
Some material on this page is excerpted from Planned Parenthood
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