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Abstinence is technically not a contraception method; contraception aims to lower the chances of fecundation through sexual intercourse; abstinence is refraining from sexual intercourse. My objection is purely linguistic; saying that abstinence is the most efficient method of contraception is like saying that the best measure of air safety is not flying at all. It is quite true that not flying significantly lowers the chances of dying in an airplane crash, however it is also quite redundant to say it. I suggest changing "the only known method [implied: of contraception] that is 100% effective is abstinence" to "Every sexual intercourse, no matter which method of contraception is used, can possibly lead to pregnancy, as no contraceptive device or technique can claim to be 100% effective."

PS: An unrelated question, sorry to sidetrack: how do I add my name and the hour and date at the end of my comments, without doing it manually? Thanks! Maquissar

Every method of contraception, really? The condom can split, the pill can fail, but there is no way sperm are getting through severed and tied tubes. The failure rate of a vasectomy is approximatly one in two thousand procedures, and those few failures are invariably picked up in post-procedure testing to bring the effective failure rate to... well, I think it's only ever happened a total of seven times. Ever. It may be non-zero in the mathematical sense, but it's so low it can't even be measured by conventional statistical means. Suricou 14:11, 23 April 2010 (EDT)

Mother Mary

This is a documented case of abstinence being unable to prevent pregnancy. This should be included in the introduction that currently claims that this is not the case.

Because that was a one time shot, I'm not sure it needs to be mentioned for our modern day. Learn together 02:51, 26 July 2007 (EDT)


This is a pity. I spent a lot of time creating a good article. I didnt use diagrams or naughty words. I didnt tell young people to go out and fornicate. I provide sound medical information. You obviously don't want to know. What about married couples who may wish to know this info? You should be ashamed of yourself. Good luck.--PalMDtalk 09:22, 5 April 2007 (EDT)

This is conservapedia. I remind you, CONSERVapedia. Unlike wikipedia, conservapedia makes no pretense of neutrality: It's for and by social conservatives, many of whome (mostly the catholics) object to the very existance of contraception on religious grounds. So don't be too surprised by this. Suricou 14:13, 23 April 2010 (EDT)


Andrew Schlafly just cut all the information about contraception out of the contraception page. --Redblue 18:19, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Crap--PalMDtalk 18:20, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

How shocking. Statistics are apparently unencyclopedic. DrLib 19:02, 4 April 2007 (EDT)


Did it as a bulleted list, formatting help can be found here [1].

Can't see this page lasting though, abstinence is the only form of contraception doncha know. JamesK 20:32, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

Expert opinion

Just a heads up, I am planning on doing extensive editing for content here, as it is needed. If you question my qualifications, please check out my profile and discussion page. Thanks. Palmd001 21:29, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

The few bizarre citations used are low on primary statistics, and are from the UK. I am including NIH and other American statistics and sources.

Intimacy is an OPINION (inherently); it probably doesnt require citation, rather, an explanation of it's potential importance. Palmd001 21:55, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Im also removing the dangerous and ridiculous claim about contraception aiding sexual assault. That's like saying crowbars are likely to cause break-ins, or AK-47s are likely to cause mass-murder. Citing a case where evidence of an assault was missing because of condom use is not helpful. You would need regression analysis to show that condoms increase crime, etc. Palmd001 22:35, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Palm, I look forward to your edits on this one. I hope you can flesh out my analysis of how the pill works - I think I'm right, and at any rate, it's already better than BillOReillyFan's version about how the Pill "destroys" the organs :-/-AmesG 22:38, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Call me "Pal". You're not too far off; what really ends up happening is the prevention of ovulation, and, as with Plan B, if fertilization does take place, prevention of implantation. We probably need to divide the section into "barrier methods", hormonal methods, IUDs, and ?other. Palmd001 22:40, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
I think that division is a great idea. It might run afoul of Andy's idea of obscenity, but I'll defend you, for whatever that's worth :-). So Pal-MD: are you a doctor? How awesome to have a real doctor edit some of the... errr... erroneous (?) articles on this site!-AmesG 22:43, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes, Im a professor of medicine. See my talk page--it includes a somewhat surreal dialog with ASchlafly about my qualifications. Good amusement value though.Palmd001 22:46, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
I find what Andy DOESN'T say almost as funny as what he DOES say. He refuses to talk, for instance, about most things relating to user:Conservative's failure to do useful things on this site. He also refuses to address issues of bias, or commentaries on the compatibility of evolution and religion... and I did see that thing on your talk page, I forgot about it though! Good times.-AmesG 22:53, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

I probably won't get that far with this tonight, as it's 11pm here, but when I return to this tomorrow, I assume it will be hacked to bits. Palmd001 23:03, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

BillFan, thanks for your help with the clean up. Palmd001 19:47, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Please note that much of the above discussion is historical. I have specifically invited Andy to find a contributor to help with the last section.--PalMDtalk 14:20, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

Re: effectiveness of various methods: "Rhythm method" (also sometimes referred to as a method of "timed abstinence")
  • Do you know what they call women who rely on the Rhythm method? /answer --Ed Poor 17:03, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
Where do people get a BAND at four o'clock in the morning?

That's a good thing, right?PalMDtalk 17:47, 2 April 2007 (EDT)


This article is perfect and completely unbiased. Thanks to whoever fixed it up!

Oh-kayyyy... this is obviously some new definition of perfect that I've never come across. Abstinence is the best form of birth control is it? Well, yes, provided it works. However, the likelihood of it actually working means that it is less effective than almost any other means you care to imagine. This is really like claiming that condoms are 100% effective provided that (a) they are worn and (b) they do not split, leak or slip off.

--CatWatcher 17:01, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Plea for tolerance

So, if this "encyclopedia" is to avoid the topic, well, then it needs a new name. Obviously, feel free to delete any well-referenced, well-researched information from an expert you wish, but don't pretend that you are doing it for accuracy or any other legitimate reason.--PalMDtalk 19:05, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

As discussed elsewhere, there is a dispute over whether it's wise to tell kids (1) We don't think you have the willpower to remain abstinent till marriage so (2) since you're going to fornicate (3) you better use condoms, etc.
Conservatives feel this encourages (4) fornication itself and (5) concomitant problems of unwanted pregnancy and STD's.
Writing which looks neutral but nevertheless provides copious alternatives to abstinence effectively sends messages #1 and #2 above, conservatives believe. Conservatives also believe that partisans are well aware of this and (6) have the aim of promoting fornication and (7) don't really care at all about out-of-wedlock pregnancy or STD's. (Not 100% of each group mentioned - I was speaking in general.)
I would therefore check with Andy before adding a "methods of contraception" section to this article. I imagine what senior staff want here is a critique of it, not a how-to guide.
If you'd like to work with me on a "Strategies to prevent STD" article, I'm happy to help. It could examine the effectiveness of various campaigns and curricula. As you probably have heard, there's a raging controversy over whether (8) abstinence-only curricula are more effective or (9) "abstinence is best but if you're gonna do it anyway use this" curricula are more effective. Part of the controversy no doubt comes from partisan refusal on the Liberal side to give an inch to the abstinence camel. There are some people who would rather die than give up fornication. --Ed Poor 07:17, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
I can see how describing various forms of contraception could be considered sending messages (1) and (2) to kids in a sex ed class (I don't agree with it, but I can see how you could think it). This isn't a sex ed class. It's an article about contraception. I don't see how describing various forms of contraception in an article about contraception could possibly send messages to anyone about anything, beyond describing various forms of contraception. Tsumetai 07:30, 5 April 2007 (EDT)

Kids aren't the only ones to have sex, and a married couple may be interested to know what contraception choices they have. Moreover, having seen the results of an abstinence only education (over 5 girls in my sister's junior class of 50 boys and girls have already dropped out of school due to being pregnant), I think that it is prudent to educate on the types of birth control available. Advocating use of birth control, abstinence or other forms, is different and far more important than advocating not having sex due for whatever personal reason. I personally am a fan of the "yay abstinence, but this is birth control so use it if you're going to have sex" education, as I would rather multiple people have sex and not get pregnant or STIs than one person get an STI or pregnant. Anyway, that's just my two cents plus a little. :-p ColinRtalk 07:28, 5 April 2007 (EDT)

I'll just repeat my suggestion above starting a Methods of contraception article and embellish it a little. A careful and accurate examination of the effectiveness of (1) the methods themselves and (2) campaigns to teach these methods would be really good reference material for an encyclopedia to supply. --Ed Poor 07:37, 5 April 2007 (EDT)


Sorry if I've inadvertantly gone wrong here. The population statistics are from the US government census website I linked to. The assumptions about fertility and sexual activity were, I thought, on the conservative side, but you're right that I can't cite a source for those. The figures for failure rates were at the lower-than-probable end of the ones you gave in the earlier section. The reason for including the section was that there is often a misunderstanding of the term 'failure rate', and I wanted to expand on the implications of that. Please by all means improve on my contribution, but I think it's an expansion of this article that needs making. Britinme 20:15 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Let me see what I can do...I can expand on failure rate, but you have to be careful about how you massage statistics. For instance, if 3 out of 100 women will get pregnant using it, that does not mean that after 2 years, 6 out of 100 will. Trying to apply in aggregate is bad stats. If you have someone you know who is good with stats, that would be great.--PalMDtalk 20:47, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

I think I'm going to leave it for somebody with a better knowledge of statistics than me in that case. I don't want to post something that's wildly inaccurate, but I do think that there is a popular conception (not a deliberate pun, honestly) that a 1% failure rate means that there will hardly be any unintended pregnancies if the contraception is used reliably, and as I understand it that's not the case, once you start looking at large numbers of women. Britinme 21:45 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Scope of the article

Colin's latest change indicates an overlap with the topic of Sex education. Let's form a strategy for dealing with all the topics relating to this. I'm starting a list below, which should then be moved to someplace like Conservapedia:Sex education topics. --Ed Poor 08:09, 5 April 2007 (EDT)

Sex education topics:

Wouldn't a category be more appropriate? And the only reason I changed the entry is because there is no question that abstinence is the only completely effective means of birth control. ColinRtalk 08:11, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
At the risk of contradicting myself, I must admit that there *is* a question about whether abstinence is the only completely effective means of birth control. The question centers on whether it is realistic to expect anyone to abstain from something as pleasant and "delicious" as sexual intercourse. The idea that it is an irresistible urge (which it is abnormal to resist) is actually quite widespread and prevalent. For example, I know of an army officer who said, "If a man won't f---, he won't fight." And you know about marching cadences taught in basic training, don't you? --Ed Poor 08:16, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
Perhaps a bit crude, but all the same, well put Ed. Some editors here seem to be desperately trying to give the impression that liberals have a monopoly on common sense. I dispute that. WhatIsG0ing0n 08:21, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
While refraining from sex may be irresistible, when used, abstinence is completely effective. After all, unless the form of contraception is being used, one cannot expect it to do its function. ColinRtalk 08:24, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
The "when used" part is the key to the issue. Thank God conservatives don't have a monopoly on common sense. -Ed
Is it not implied that use of the form of contraception is necessary for its benefits? Or are people that stupid these days? But if you feel that the "when used" qualifier is needed, by all means, put it in the entry. ColinRtalk 08:29, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
(Late retort) There are many stupid people and much stupidity about contraception. For instance, some people think they can rely on withdrawal and/or rhythm, and there's a medical term especially for members of the fair sex who do: (see the surprise answer here). --Ed Poor 14:23, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
Exactly Ed "when used", Capital Punishment is 100% effective - no one ever reoffends. Why not apply it for all felonies and misdemeanors? Would people cease committing misdemeanors. Not likely - if we killed them all the economy would collapse. It would cause more harm than good. Damage or harm reduction are the the (pragmatic?) buzzwords.
WhatIsG0ing0n 08:38, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
Is it not implied that use of the form of contraception is necessary for its benefits? My understanding (PalMD, please correct me if this is wrong) is that contraception failure rates are generally quoted as pregnancies per N people using them for M time, as actually used, and that some or many of the 'failures' reported are actually failures to use the method properly or at all. IE, you find a woman who says "I use condoms for birth control" and check back in a year to see if she's pregnant; if she is, you chalk that up as a condom failure, even if it's because she skipped the condom one night. --Jtl 14:00, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
That is correct, in general. It is similar to the "intention-to-treat" analysis in RTCs. Some studies include information on"properly and regularly uses", but most rates are quoted as above. Condoms, for instance, are 85% effective in general, much more when used as directed, with spermacide.--PalMDtalk 14:16, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
Have there been any studies on abstinence's failure rate with that methodology? I remember hearing about some studies on teen sexual behavior following abstinence-only education vs. broad-knowledge education, but that's not quite the same thing. (As a side note, I'm still having trouble getting my head around the fact that some schools simply don't teach some of this stuff; I went to a Catholic high school, and even they tought us what the options were. Yes, the had a lot of focus on failure rates, health problems, and discouragement-by-grotesquery, not to mention the church teachings, but as far as I know they taught every FDA-approved artificial method plus abstinence and the rhythm method.) --Jtl 20:29, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
It would just turn into an argument over definitions. When someone trying to be or told to be abstinant has sex anyway, is that to be considered a failure of the abstinance method? Or should it be decided that the method was not being used in the first place? The latter obviously gives a 100% success rate, but is akin to saying condoms have a 100% success rate by discounting every failure as user error and removing that subject from the study. Suricou 14:32, 23 April 2010 (EDT)

I think "use" or "reliance" has to include what I'll call the "compliance factor". Do seatbelts prevent injury? In my case, yes. I never get behind the wheel without putting on my seatbelt. Even to move a parked car to another spot in a lot. I have a high compliance factor.

Pills you take every day are hard to forget in a 'moment of passion' but how often can we expect a high school broncin' buck are going to remember to slip a love glove out of his wallet at the crucial moment? Contrariwise, how often can we expect Little Miss Sunshine to recite "no glove, no love" and stick firmly to it when she's stuck in his hot embrace? --Ed Poor 14:32, 5 April 2007 (EDT)


Sorry, Crocoite, I jittered on the trigger.

No problem Ed. Crocoite 22:39, 1 July 2007 (EDT)

Obviously something went on between Crocoite and Ed Poor (as can be seen in the history). Since I seem to have missed out on the discussion, can I ask why we chose the current page, which has one ify source ("God, the Holy Bible"), over this page [2], which is more enclopedic, less preachy, and actually cited? (And before anyone gets in a huff, I'm calling the Bible in this case an "ify source" because it's not properly referenced; without chapter and verse there's no way to know the claim is actually in the book). Jazzman831 23:51, 1 July 2007 (EDT)


This article is written from a purely Catholic POV. Protestants do not have a problem with the use of contraception within marriage, so it is incorrect to say that for Protestants recreational sex within marriage is sinful. Can it be rephrased to take account of that?--Britinme 12:39, 2 July 2007 (EDT)

Make the change. Adding a reference would be helpful. Crocoite 13:25, 2 July 2007 (EDT)
No, the Bible clearly states, "be fruitful and multiply," which is entirely negated by any use of contraception. Kristkrispies 20:28, 3 July 2007 (EDT)
Many people (most people, actually) use contraception as a way of spacing children, not to avoid having them completely. The Bible doesn't say 'be fruitful and multiply without limit'. Whatever your personal views about the Bible though, this article does not reflect Protestant denominational teachings on contraception. The Anglicans issued a statement in favour of contraception at the Lambeth Conference as long ago as 1930. The statement was carried by a majority of 193 to 67. This was followed in 1931 by statements by some American Protestants. I will add something on this into the article.A reasonable reference from a solid source seems to be [3] --Britinme 14:23, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

Where in the Bible does it say not to use contraceptives? I'm pretty sure contraceptives had not been invented 2000+ years ago, so I will remove that part. J.Y.L.

Disease and contraception

Cut from intro:

Although some believe that contraception should be a part of education to minimize unwanted pregnancies and the contraction of HIV AIDS, the reality remains that, outside of marriage, contraception encourages sexual behavior and promiscuity . Those who choose to have more than one sexual partner do so at their own risk and, in a sense, bring the burdens of disease and unwanted pregnancy on themselves. Therefore education and encouragement of contraceptive devices is not useful.

What does contraception have to do with minimizing AIDS? Is this a sidelong reference to condoms? Why not be explicit then? --Ed Poor Talk 23:29, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Any contraceptive method, with the exception of the rhythm method and the pill, will reduce the chance of contracting AIDs or other STDs. I agree that that paragraph was just generally wierd and should have been removed, but I think disease prevention is a major positive side effect of almost all forms of contraception and should be mentioned somewhere in the article. Jazzman831 23:45, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
*chokes* That's not true. Only condoms and abstinence reduce the transmission of STDs. AManInBlack 23:50, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Errr, I amend my statement; it turns out there were more types of contraception than I remembered off the top of my head. However, any barrier method, not just condoms, reduces the chances of STD's. Even coitus interuptus reduces the chance, granted not by a large amount. The point I was trying to make was hidden by my apparent misunderstanding of contraception (hrm... guess I could have done with better sex ed, no?): disease prevention should be mentioned in this article. Jazzman831 00:04, 26 July 2007 (EDT)

History and social impact

We should mention something on this. Contraception is the key development in all thing sexual since it became effective and available. Contraception lead to practical promiscuity and the 'free love' movement, and the rise in acceptability of premarital sex, which in turn helped the acceptability of all public mention and depiction of sex from pornography to racy movie scenes. Contraception regulation resulted in the Griswold case - when the supreme court invented a right to contraception, they set the stage for greater future cases - Griswold was key precident in both Row v Wade and Lawrence V Texas. If Griswold had gone otherwise, it is extremally unlikely the court would later have forced the legalisation of abortion and sodomy. Attempts to prosecute contraceptive education under obscenity laws lead not just to the overturning of Cornstock law, but the weakening of obscenity law in general. Almost every trend in sexual immorality since the 1800's can be traced directly or indirectly to the spreading of contraception. This is why so many states and churches worked so hard to ban it - they could forsee the eventual consequences of making sex safe. - NewCrusader

Not to mention some indirect effects. Contraception made it possible for women to follow the same path of education and career as men. Prior to contraception, this was not an option - any education or career could have been cut short by a baby, and no company would hire a woman except for a temporary position if a new family might pull her away. Contraception is in this way responsible for the women's rights movement, and thus for the feminism that sprang forth from it. Contraception made the modern world, socially speaking. It deserves more analysis here, if only so I can enjoy seeing how many contributors wish to go so far as to call for an outright ban. Suricou 14:29, 23 April 2010 (EDT)

History stub

A few convenient dates for reference. 1855 - First rubber condom. There were earlier condoms, they worked very poorly. 1923 - Comstock struck down, condoms become available in the US at the federal level. 1930 - Anglicans approve the use of contraception, but only within marriage. 1941 - Nazi germany bans the condom, on the grounds that huge numbers of Ayran babies would be needed to populate the world once the war was over. WW2 - The US issues condoms to it's soldiers. Quite why they would encourage depravity in this way I cannot imagine. 1960 - The Pill recieves FDA approval. It's formulation has been revised many times since. 1965 - Griswold v. Connecticut, state-level restrictions on contraception struck down. 1968 - Humanae Vitae released, in which the Catholic church forbids all forms of artificial contraception without exception. 1972 - Eisenstadt v. Baird. US government loses all authority to prevent the sale of contraception, even to unmarried people, effectively endorsing premarital sex.