Condoms …. and a “Culture of Pleasure”

Gozo Bishop Mario Grech has stated that teaching students about contraception encourages them to give in to the “culture of pleasure”. He even goes to say that this is tantamount to abuse. There have been many agreements and disagreements on what the Bishop said and I don’t feel like repeating them once again. I would just like to point out something quite dangerous in the link between the most popular contraceptives – condoms – and the “culture of pleasure”. Something that many seem to be ignoring.

My fear is that many people especially young ones, do not use condoms, not because they don’t know about them or could not afford them, but due to the idea that condoms diminish pleasure. I won’t enter the merits of whether this is true or not (I think it’s something completely subjective). However it is enough to say that one is better safe than sorry. I don’t know of any study confirming this, however I strongly suspect that a substantial number of unwanted pregnancies where condoms were not used at all are the result of this “without a condom it’s more fun” mentality. The amount of STD’s and STI’s transmitted due to this mentality is probably even larger.

Aside from the other arguments on this issue, I would like Mgr Grech and those that agree with him to include this into the equation: Is it possible that the same “culture of pleasure” he is criticizing happens to be the reason why condoms are used even less? If that is the case wouldn’t it be more appropriate to teach our students not only the technicalities related to sex, but how to value their own and their partner’s body without expecting the unrealistic – abstinence? That it is much wiser to diminish slightly the pleasure (if it’s the case) and prevent the undesirable?

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