It has been suggested many times over the years that promiscuity among women would drastically increase if they were to be provided with free contraception. The CHOICE project, a study that took place in 2007 found that there is no link between free birth control and risky sexual behavior in women, nor is there a connection with rising STD rates. However, a more recent study that took place in New York City has uncovered evidence to the contrary. Not only are women more promiscuous when they are provided with free contraception, the method they choose may increase their susceptibility to certain sexually transmitted diseases.
the CHOICE project followed 9,256 women between 14 and 45 years of age. The women were offered a choice between the birth control pill, the NuvaRing, the patch and an intrauterine device (IUD). Six months into the study, women were asked if they had seen an increase in their number of sexual partners. They were asked again about twelve months into the study to see if there had been any change. Overall, the percentage of women who stated they had multiple partners declined during the study.
The scientists involved in the CHOICE project, unfortunately, failed to perform physical examinations on their participants. Had they done so, their findings would have been surprising indeed. Experts from the Wyoming Institute of Technology, in conjunction with Birthright, did a similar study in New York City earlier this year. 8,000 women were offered the same contraceptives used in the CHOICE study. After a full year, the women were asked a series of questions about their intimate lives and sexual histories, they were then given blood tests and thorough pelvic examinations.
The results were disturbing. 76 percent of participating women admitted to a significant increase in their amount of sexual partners, and even admitted to dispensing with condoms during these encounters giving the reason that they didn’t find it necessary to use two forms of contraception. This data is certainly alarming, but even worse were the results of the pelvic exams and blood tests.
Although there was a dramatic decrease in the number of unwanted pregnancies, there was an increase in the number of women suffering from a sexually transmitted disease. An alarming 53 percent of these infections were contracted during the study. The experts involved wanted to understand how this was happening, and why.
It was found that the birth control pill is the most commonly used form of chemical contraception. Scientists decided to give this pill a closer look. The pill contains hormones that change the functions of the body in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy. These hormones (estrogen and progesterone) prevent ovulation and thicken the layer of mucus around the cervix which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Unfortunately, this thickened layer of mucus also traps assorted bacteria and viruses, providing them with the ideal environment for incubation. The illnesses then make their way into the bloodstream and the victim starts experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. It can take up to ten years for these symptoms to make themselves known.
Contrary to the previously held belief, providing women with unlimited free contraceptive methods is linked to an increase in high- risk sexual behavior in women, and a higher chance of contracting a dangerous STD. The only proven way to safely prevent the unwanted consequences of sex is to practice abstinence. The use of chemical contraception should be limited to married couples with medical issues that would prevent the safe delivery of healthy children. Unmarried women would be better served to put less focus on preventing pregnancies and more thought into finding one permanent sexual partner.