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Author Topic: Why not contraception?
Adam Lassek
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quote:
the difference would have to be relevant, statistically, if you are comparing a method with 90% effectiveness to one with 99% effectiveness.
I don't think so, because of what you mean by "effective." What makes the sympto-thermal method more "effective" than the rhythm method is measured in accidental pregnancy. The whole point of the article is, you may very well be fertilizing eggs on the fringes of your fertility period without even realizing it.

There is undoubtedly a statistical difference in how often this would happen, but it would still happen nonetheless. The difference is quantitative, not qualitative. I should stress that the paper itself says there needs to be more empirical study on this matter and thus its conclusions are still hypothetical.

quote:
There is a difference between a miscarriage and an abortion, and there is a difference between a pill used to prevent implantation and the fact that at times a woman's body may be unable to sustain a pregnancy.
Yes there is a difference, but between natural failure to implant and the pill I would classify it an entirely amoral biological one.
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Carlotta
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What I mean by statistically relevant is this: the conclusion of the article was that rhythm method hypotheically causes as many "miscarriages" as the pill. It assumed 2 "miscarriages" per "accidental pregnancy" if I remember correctly. At 90% effectiveness, that means 10 pregnancies out of 100 women and 20 "miscarriages". At 99% effectiveness that means 1 pregnancy out of 100 women and 2 "miscarriages". I think this is statistically significant, don't you?

I agree it is quantitative and not qualitative. (And it is an interesting article and I'm glad you posted it, don't misunderstand me.) You are saying the difference between natural failure to implant and a pill to cause failure to implant is likewise not a qualitative one? Why would you say that? I would say the natural failure to implant is an amoral biological one, but I dont' see how you could view a pill for the purpose as morally equal, if you believe that life begins as conception.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Carlotta:
So you define contraception by the ends and not the means?

I'm saying that willfully abstaining from a moral duty in order to prevent conception is not morally superior to taking action to prevent contraception.

quote:
I'm assuming you see no significant difference in either of the above mentioned means to avoid conception?
I personally find the pill far less problematic, because of the disruption factor I discussed earlier.


quote:
What makes it a "natural" course of action any more than two unmarried people who love each other?
It's a different kind of nature. Husband and wife are one flesh to in some respects before the law, and in some respects before God. This is not the nature of this world. By natural relations, I mean the relationship that establishes itself, without compulsory means, within a healthy marriage.
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Adam Lassek
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quote:
I would say the natural failure to implant is an amoral biological one, but I dont' see how you could view a pill for the purpose as morally equal, if you believe that life begins as conception.
Morality is about affecting the happiness or suffering of others. A blastocyst is physically incapable of either; you visit more suffering upon the world by killing a fly (a fly's brain contains 100,000 cells, whereas a a blastocyst is only about 150). Thus contraception cannot possibly be a moral concern with regards to using it. Now, failure to use it certainly can be, by putting your partner at unneccessary risk. Or convincing other people to not use it, such as the tendancy of Christians to keep their kids ignorant of contraceptives and teaching them only about abstinance (and thus making them more likely than their peers to get pregnant or an STD).

I do not believe life begins at conception (if by "life," you mean personhood) because that is ridiculous and logically untenable.

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Carlotta
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Adam, thanks for clarifying. From what you said,
quote:
In other words, anybody who opposes the pill must also oppose the rhythm method as they are, to some degree, successful for the same reasons.
I thought you were arguing that someone who believes that life begins at conception must believe that the natural occurence of the woman's body being inhospitable to implantation was morally equal to causing that inhospitability. I thought your criticism was that such a belief, that one is morally acceptable and the other is not, is inconsistent, not that it is based on the false premise that life begins at conception. Otherwise your statement should have read "no one should oppose the Pill" not "no one who opposes the pill should accept the rhythm method."

Also, as a side note, I'm not sure I agree with your definition of morality. According to your definition, would it be morally wrong to steal money from someone, if it was money they didn't know they had? It wouldn't cause them any pain, because they wouldn't miss it.

Pete, I'll have to respond to you tomorrow, I hope. You're making me think. [Smile]

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
I thought your criticism was that such a belief, that one is morally acceptable and the other is not, is inconsistent, not that it is based on the false premise that life begins at conception.
Yes I was making the observation that believing one and not the other was inconsistent. I did not intend to give you the impression I thought this way.

quote:
Otherwise your statement should have read "no one should oppose the Pill" not "no one who opposes the pill should accept the rhythm method."
Indeed I do not think anyone has a good reason to oppose the pill. Although I agree with both statements presented here.

quote:
According to your definition, would it be morally wrong to steal money from someone, if it was money they didn't know they had? It wouldn't cause them any pain, because they wouldn't miss it.
It doesn't matter whether they are aware of it or not--I don't see much moral difference between taking from someone against their will or without their knowledge.

The point I was driving at is that some people tend to use "morality" as a reason to punish acts for which there is no victim, and a crime without a victim is like a debt without a creditor.

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PanHeraclitean
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I have to enter my previous comment about deferral in the matter of conception. We've gone beaten around the bush a couple times on the matter of personhood. I hope you would admit that there is life there. And just like any other form of life it requires a specific type of environment to thrive.

The deferral that I speak of is that under normal conditions the zygote will be born and become a person. It will not become a fish or a lizard or an alien. It is a human zygote (I find it telling that many pro-choicers choose to call it a fertilized egg instead of a zygote, it seems to imply that the women should still have total possession of it since it is her egg and the fertilization is not significant enough a change to make it a different thing.). We defer in the case of a zygote because unlike anything else it has the potentiality to become a human person whereas a fish egg or dead skin or even an individual gamete does not.

Other issues of contraception stem not from the harm it does to the non-existent person or individual gametes, but to the persons involved in the relationship.

It comes from an understanding that people work best when they are interdependent not independent or dependent. There is a synergy involved, or at least should be that draws the two together to form a communion of persons. The human life that springs from that is an incarnation of the love that the two people feel. The spouses truly become one flesh in the new person who they procreated.

Contraception is in this way anti-communion-of-persons. Any mentality or individual action that says that a child should not be a result of a specific sexual act is contradicting the communal nature of that act by denying the greatest sign of the synergy created in the union of persons. No other way of relating can be so definite as to create a new person as the sexual act. Thus no other way of relating through an act of closed to procreation or contraceptive sex so fully denies this pivotal aspect of the sexual union, the chance for new life to arise.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
The deferral that I speak of is that under normal conditions the zygote will be born and become a person.
No. Most of the time it will not. Even when the egg is fertilized inside the woman, most if the time it does not implant, let alone become a person.
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PanHeraclitean
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Most of the time and normal course of events are different things Pete. I knew someone would say something about that. If the case is that it is not normal than why are we not always seeking children for the sake of propogation? In many countries there is a negative population growth now you know.

Where are you getting your data about this from by the way?

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Funean
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How are you using "normal," Pan? Pete can probably fill the page with links supporting the statement that "most of the time a zygote will not develop into a human person." It's pretty well known that the majority of conceptions don't lead to the birth of a child; a fair number of zygotes don't implant, some of those that implant don't progress to blastocyte stage, some of these blastocytes don't develop into embryos, yet later some percentage of embryos and fetuses are miscarried or still born, etc., and that's without even getting into purposely aborted pregnancies (as opposed to natural ones, I mean).

The reason home pregnancy tests advise waiting a week after a missed period before testing is not because they can't detect the pregnancy before that--we tested positive for both our kids 3 days after conception (we do not follow directions well [Big Grin] ). It's because the vast majority of those "early positives" don't resolve into a successful pregnancy.

Anyway, if by "normal" you mean "provided that all goes well at every step," sure, human zygotes turn into human beings. But I'd question how "normal" it is for everything to go well at every step, in just about every endeavor in life, as a matter of fact. [Smile]

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DonaldD
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Hmmm... I think (from the context of pan's usage) that 'normal' was somewhat secondary to his point - that the zygote has the potential to become a human person (as opposed to a fish, lizard or alien). I don't think it was in reference to its chances of achieving successful 'liftoff'.
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PanHeraclitean
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DonaldD, your right it was secondary.
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Pete at Home
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The zygote also has the potential of becoming part of a human being, of filling in missing neurons or other cells. To save human life.

It's also possible for two fraternally twinned blastocysts to fuse and form a chimera, in this case a single human being who has some cells with one set of DNA and other cells with another set of DNA.

This is pretty plastic stuff, Pan.

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DonaldD
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I get the chimera reference, but I'm unclear on the filling in missing neurons bit, and are you talking about medical treatments when you mention "[saving] human life"?
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MattP
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That's how I read it.
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PanHeraclitean
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Pete, I asked this once, but can you point me in the direction of research to your point. I still haven't found it.

How is it that you address my deferral, Pete? Is it just let's wait 'til the end of the first trimester? I thought I saw that you're ok with abortion up to birth though, is that correct? My reason for the deferral from conception is that any other demarcation seems pretty artificial to me. But you do admit that from the beginning a zygote has a unique potentiality to become a human being - "The zygote also has the potential of becoming part of a human being, of filling in missing neurons or other cells." even though it is an implicit admission.

DonaldD, I've seen research that shows that differentiated neural stem cells have been about to implant in mice from mice fetuses. This does not yet seem to suggest that we can directly implant undifferentiated blastocysts. And we do not yet know how to differentiate human blastocysts.

[ January 16, 2007, 04:53 PM: Message edited by: PanHeraclitean ]

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DonaldD
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Why do you think it has a "unique" potentiality, pan?
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PanHeraclitean
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The unique part goes back to fish not being human or dogs and aardvarks not being able to learn Chinese. Only human zygotes can become human persons.
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MattP
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quote:
But you do admit that from the beginning a zygote has a unique potentiality to become a human being
Not if it doesn't implant. Until it has implanted, it has no more potentiality to become a human than a sperm that has not fertilized an egg. I don't see what is artificial about that demarcation. Implantation is a discrete event.
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PanHeraclitean
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How is implantation any more discrete than fertilization? A zygote or blastocyst will grow once implanted into any women. If it's frozen it doesn't grow and if it is left it degenerates. How is that different from adults? Obviously, except of course the uterus, adults still need clean water, food and such.

[ January 16, 2007, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: PanHeraclitean ]

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MattP
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quote:
How is implantation any more discrete than fertilization?
It's not any more discrete. I was challenging your claim that "any other demarcation [than conception] seems pretty artificial."
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DonaldD
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Well, Pan... in the same way, a human embryo also has the potentiality to become human - heck, so does a foetus. In fact, the latter two have a stronger call to uniqueness, in that they are actually guaranteed, if they survive, to produce a distinct human entity.

Whereas a zygote, even one who's cells mature successfully, might become two distinct humans, or a part of another human entity completely.

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PanHeraclitean
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Please somebody show me some source for a blasocyst or zygote being subsumed into another human being.

My demarcation of fertilization is that it appears to be the source of the causal chain for a possible human entity as a discrete act.

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simplybiological
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My demarcation of fertilization is that it appears to be the source of the causal chain for a possible human entity as a discrete act.

This is entirely a matter of opinion.

The egg that is ovulated has not even completed meiosis II- if it's fertilized, it will complete meiosis II, the nuclei will fuse, and then mitosis will begin.

Eggs are only viable for approx 12 hours unless they're fertilized; sperm are viable for about 3 days. The chance of fertilization if all parties are present is still only about 30%.

It doesn't even implant until Day 8. Approximately 10% of fertilized eggs fail to implant. Of those that do implant, somewhere between 30 and 50% spontaneously abort, in many cases before the woman even realizes she is pregnant.

(All my stats are from a Reproductive Biology course I took)

Maintenance of pregnancy is primarily due to the production of the hormone progesterone. For the first 10-14 days after ovulation, the corpus luteum (in the ovary) maintains production of progesterone. If an egg does not implant, it dies and menstruation occurs. If an egg DOES implant, human corionic gonadatropin (hCG) is released and it "saves" the corpus luteum.
The CL then continues to produce progesterone until the end of the first trimester, and then the fetus takes over production of progesterone via the adrenal gland and "fetal zone".

Many miscarriages occur when production of progesterone switches from maternal to fetal- improper timing can result in the body no longer thinking it's pregnant.

All of these events (and many others) have to occur for a pregnancy to be successful. Choosing fertilization is just as arbitrary as choosing any other stage.

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simplybiological
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Please somebody show me some source for a blasocyst or zygote being subsumed into another human being.

Search for "Chimera" on Wikipedia- the Chimera (genetics) entry is accurate and explains the phenomenon well. I tried to post the link but something is wonky.

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PanHeraclitean
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So do we really have any point that we can assert that a human being has inherent meaning?

I mean really we can go back to what Tom Curtis said, "As to personhood, a person is capable of moral discrimination, and of complex social interaction with other persons." But the vast majority of people could fall in and out of personhood based on how morally or socially inept they are in any given situation.

We could say it is a specific age, but anyone who doesn't reach that point deserves no more respect than a dog or a snake.

This pretty much throws out any meaning to man based on physical or socio-intellectual status.

We again find ourselves in the every popular modern wasteland of "Whatever". Whatever I want to define something is fine, but I should not ever expect someone else to take my position seriously let alone that they should think that my position has some truth to it for them.

So I fall into the non-athiest plug again. As a Catholic, it doesn't matter what point a human being reaches to have an inherent human dignity. This is why I place the point of deferral at conception.

Simplybiological, your info on gametes proves my point that fertilization is the best moment to draw a distinction. Mitosis cannot occur until fertilization.

I don't want anyone to believe that I think that the government should legislate that any spontaneous abortion is murder. That is expressly something I disagree with. Likewise I cannot expect that the government should rule contraception or abortion illegal.

As I have said many times, I believe that there is an ethos to the matters of fertility and sexual relations. Within that ethos the sexual act carries with it a penumbra, much like the judicial penumbra that has developed around the matter of privacy. That penumbra says that sex is unitive and procreative by nature and that anything that nullifies either of these aspects by the intention act of a participant does not lessen or negate the meaning of the act but actually poisons the act to be an unloving act.

Contraception is saying that procreativity is not a welcome party to sex. There are numerous other reasons why contraceptives are not things to take lightly, but those are really ancilliary concerns.

The largest concern from a Catholic standpoint is the lie that contraceptive sex says. Sex from the Catholic standpoint is a communion of persons, a one flesh union. It is an expression that says, "I give myself completely and unreservedly to you." Part of our gift of self is most definitely our physicality. With that comes our fertility.

How would you like it if you went to bed with someone and before getting into bed they pulled out there eye?

"Sorry, I can't let you have my eye it's to special for you (or its not ready for this now)"

First, it would seem pretty preverse. Then after you get over how disgusting it is you have to wonder why you aren't good enough for it or why he or she thinks it's not a good time now. Is it you? Do they really love you? Would they really lay down their live for you?

I don't know about you but this is what the contraceptive mentality says to me. I hope it give you a better idea of where I'm coming from.

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simplybiological
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You missed my point.

My point was, there are a number of different events, each as integral to the creation and maintenance of pregnancy as fertilization. Just because fertilization is first does not make it any more or less important than implantation, or maternal recognition of pregnancy (when hCG is released), or when the fetus takes over production of progesterone. Choosing fertilization is arbitrary, and you're doing so because of your faith.

I'm not saying your choice isn't valid, I'm saying that it's belief-based and not scientific. One of the main mistakes that people make in the contraception/abortion debate is trying to claim that the science supports their side more than the other. This simply isn't true- the science supports both sides equally. The science provides a collection of facts about the process by which a human life is created, and people interpret and apply those facts differently given their position. All this talk about zygotes and blastocysts ultimately comes down to this- What do you BELIEVE about life?

You retreat into Catholic doctrine in order to make your point about contraception, which further proves this point. You said, That penumbra says that sex is unitive and procreative by nature and that anything that nullifies either of these aspects by the intention act of a participant does not lessen or negate the meaning of the act but actually poisons the act to be an unloving act. (by the way, how are you defining "penumbra"? I know only the astronomical definition), it presupposes a very limiting definition of what a loving act would be. For example, I'm in a point in my career where having a child would pretty much deny me of my dream job. Would it be a "loving act" for my partner to assert that either we cannot have sex, or I must expose myself to this risk? To me, this definition of love carries a much greater burden for women.

This argument is furthered when you say, It is an expression that says, "I give myself completely and unreservedly to you." Part of our gift of self is most definitely our physicality. With that comes our fertility. A male's "gift of fertility" is simply a few easily replenished sperm, while the female then has the biological necessity of carrying a child for 9 months, which has both physiological and psychological effects on the woman for the rest of her life. Opposition to contraception is necessarily a gendered debate- men simply do not have the burden that women do when contraception is unavailable.

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Carlotta
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Simplybiological,
I applaud your analysis here
quote:
The science provides a collection of facts about the process by which a human life is created, and people interpret and apply those facts differently given their position. All this talk about zygotes and blastocysts ultimately comes down to this- What do you BELIEVE about life?

The question of the meaning of life and our moral/ethical obligation to others is not a scientific question. Doesn't mean it is not relevant or unanswerable though.

I have to disagree with you on contraception being a gendered debate. When a couple does not use contraception, the burden of abstinence during the period of mutual fertility falls equally on the man and the woman. This is true in all relationships except one in which the woman does not have the right to say no to her partner.

Pete, sorry I've been away. I just can't focus, let alone type, when I'm shivering, but I just had some hot chocolate, so here goes. First of all, I understand what you mean by natural now. I think. Would it be fair to say that you do not mean "that which would happen if there were no interference" (as in "natural desires" being what we want to do if nothing held us back) but that you mean "the relationship which corresponds to the nature of marriage"?

I have been thinking about your moral duty v.s. avoiding sin dichotomy and have not reached a conclusion that is entirely satisfactory to me. The best I can come up with is that avoiding sin is a moral duty, as is doing good. It's not satisfactory to me so far b/c it seems sophist to make a distinction and then protest that there is not really a distinction, but it's the best I've got. They really seem to go together. In my experience it's much easier and more fulfilling instead of focusing on the evil I must avoid to focus on the good that I must embrace and then perceive the evil as a lack of the good. That way I'm not focusing on following rules and the negative, but motivated by love for the good I leave the bad behind. There's a long story behind this but maybe we'll get into that some other time.

Here's my problem with your argument. Maybe I'm misunderstanding it. You say, "contraception is not wrong because having children when you're not ready for them would be worse." I say, "What about NFP?" You say, "NFP is bad because it unnecessarily disrupts the marital relationship." But that unnecessarily hinges on the belief that contraception is not wrong. Otherwise it would be a necessary disruption, just like taking care of your kids or unavoidable long business trips, right? How is this not a circular argument? Of course you may state that NFP is bad because contraception is not wrong, but then we would have to discuss whether or not contraception is wrong apart from the merits or lack thereof of NFP.

Pick apart my belief now: if you believed that contraception so changed the essential nature of sex as God created it that it was no longer sex, such as you admitted phone sex would be, would you believe that periodic abstinence was the better or worse alternative when seeking pregnancy would not be prudent or loving? I"m curious whether you think my belief is inconsistent or just based on a false premise (that contraception changes the essential nature of sex.)

[ January 16, 2007, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: Carlotta ]

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simplybiological
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I have to disagree with you on contraception being a gendered debate. When a couple does not use contraception, the burden of abstinence during the period of mutual fertility falls equally on the man and the woman. This is true in all relationships except one in which the woman does not have the right to say no to her partner.

If a couple does not use contraception, then any intercourse necessarily carries the possibility of pregnancy. Even if both parties abstain during the most fertile time of the month, the consequences of an error in timing or a lapse in resolve necessarily reside more with the woman. Therefore, the male has less incentive to remain abstinent than the female; even if she can say no, she's put in the position of having to say no, and therefore bears more responsibility for maintaining abstinence.

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PanHeraclitean
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What a sorry plight for women then. Nature just unfairly burdens women by making them the bearers of children at all. What a sad position to be in. I'm so glad I can have sex with any woman or man I want and never worry about that burden. It sounds simply terrible and nearly unbearable. Unfortunately I find it repulsive because it places man in the position of constant slave to his passion. He just can't keep it in his pants and his SO will have to find some way of dealing with it.

Why don't we all just buck up and take responsibility for sex as a choice and not as a simple itch to be scratched? Maybe because it would require sacrifice on everybody's part not just women or men, but both men and women to actually think about what they say by their actions and not just go with the quick fix.

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Funean
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Pan, I think you're inferring something from sb's remarks that simply isn't there. There is quite a leap from "[a] female then has the biological necessity of carrying a child for 9 months, which has both physiological and psychological effects on the woman for the rest of her life" to "Nature just unfairly burdens women by making them the bearers of children at all."

Do you dispute that sustaining a pregnancy is a greater "involvement" than replenishing sperm? We're not talking about parenting, but the physiological effects of biologically successful intercourse--e.g., that resulting in conception and pregnancy. It is because of the unevenness of the potential consequences of intercourse that the question of conception has a gendered aspect. I'm not sure why you're sounding so sarcastic and angry about a fairly straightforward fact.

edited for clarity

[ January 17, 2007, 07:05 AM: Message edited by: Funean ]

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DonaldD
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"Mitosis cannot occur until fertilization"

Although this doesn't gainsay your major point. this statement is not correct. Fertilization is one process that might produce a zygote capable of mitosis. It is not the only such process (not even in nature, although the only one humanly available in nature.)

But of course a surviving zygote is not guaranteed to produce a unique person on the macro level either, although it is statistically guaranteed that its offspring cells will be distinct from those produced by other zygotes. Zygotes 'often' produce multiple distinct entities, multiple zygotes 'often' combine to produce single entities and although almost impossible to observe, I would even hazard that zygotes sometimes produce dual entities which then recombine into a single entity.

simplybiological - although you're probably aware of this, your statements go to the viability of the pregnancy, not to the entity-ness of the offspring, whereas pan (ignoring the asides) is talking about the latter.

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PanHeraclitean
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Funean, the problem that I have with what simplybiological is saying is that sex is a choice not a compulsion. Sure you're both right that it is a gendered thing but so are humans so it seems pretty silly to me to make a big deal about that. You're also right the pregnancy is more involved for women.

No doubt that a man can say, "I love you" in just such a way as to get a weakened woman to sleep with her. What it seems like we're doing is saying that's just fine for man or woman to do especially now that we can make sex all but sterile and just a fun activity like euchre or a board game.

The problem is the social implications of such a no fault approach to sex. Unplanned pregnancy? Why not just get rid of it? It's not like it is a human being or anything, right?

I don't want to blame women for contraception. I place the majority of blame on men and society in general. The reason for blame on men is that we can't seem to say no. I blame society for saying to men, "that's alright, we'll find a way for you to have your cake and eat it too." Don't worry about responsible sex all it means now is not passing on STD's and making sure the woman doesn't get pregnant.

Yes I'm angry and sarcastic about this because I view it as one of the biggest lies out there. I believe it trickles down and creates many, many problems in individual lives and society as a whole. You want a reason why Islamic fundamentalists view the West is corrupt, here it is.

I've tried to be nice and politically correct about this. But no one has given any reason why contraception is a good thing IMO yet and why sex should be the same as banobo sex. I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I just don't understand.

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Carlotta
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I think where Pan is coming from is that to argue that contraception is necessary because the male partner is always unsupportive of the female's desire to avoid pregnancy and is unable to have enough empathy to understand that desire and support is extremely insulting to men. In my opinion of a man is manipulating a woman into sex by being unsupportive of abstinence, if he truly does not take responsibility for his own children and the woman who is bearing them, there are a lot bigger problems than just getting pregnant.

SB, I have a problem with your argument that "if a couple does not use contraception than any intercourse carries the chance of pregnancy." Because this is true even if a couple does use contraception. So then you would have to add abortion as a basic women's right to ensure equality. But even abortion carries health risks, physical and emotional, so men and woman are still not equal, woman is still more burdened. How would you address this point?

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simplybiological
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PanH-
Sure you're both right that it is a gendered thing but so are humans so it seems pretty silly to me to make a big deal about that.

Well, because in this case one gender is more affected by sexual and contraceptive decisions than the other. Ergo, the role of the male and female in a relationship is not equal and I don't think it's "silly" to assert that's a problem.

No doubt that a man can say, "I love you" in just such a way as to get a weakened woman to sleep with her. What it seems like we're doing is saying that's just fine for man or woman to do especially now that we can make sex all but sterile and just a fun activity like euchre or a board game.

This is not a function of contraception. I assure you that men have been lying to women to seduce them since they could speak (not that women are innocent either), and that the role of contraception has been to reduce pregnancy and disease resulting from these encounters. It's not as though people only had sex to procreate until contraception was invented, then suddenly said, "WOOO! Now we can be promiscuous!" It's a common fallacy in these debates to blame the behavior on the advent of contraception, when in fact the behavior far pre-dates it.

Your characterization of sex as a fun activity "like a board game" is a fairly tacky characterization. Most people take the decision to have sex with someone more seriously than the decision to play monopoly with them. Even in the context of a relationship, I rarely find myself saying, "Hey, honey, do you want to get naked, or would you rather play Uno?" They aren't the same.

The problem is the social implications of such a no fault approach to sex. Unplanned pregnancy? Why not just get rid of it? It's not like it is a human being or anything, right?

Confusing a debate about the role of contraception with the debate of abortion as birth control is also a fallacy. The use of contraception de facto indicates that the person recognizes that an abortion is a measure they do not want to take- if they don't care about having an abortion, there's no reason to use contraception. The use of contraception indicates that the individual wishes to avoid creating a life (though I'm not prepared to stipulate AT ALL that a fertilized egg constitutes A Life).

I don't want to blame women for contraception. I place the majority of blame on men and society in general. The reason for blame on men is that we can't seem to say no. I blame society for saying to men, "that's alright, we'll find a way for you to have your cake and eat it too." Don't worry about responsible sex all it means now is not passing on STD's and making sure the woman doesn't get pregnant.

I don't think anyone needs to be blamed. My point was that women unfairly carry the burden of the consequences of sex, and thus great political and social statements about the dominion of women over their own bodies are made when people oppose contraception (or abortion).

As I said above, it appears to me that you're blaming contraception for people having casual sex. Again, let me assure you that men have been trying to have sex with women without disease or pregnancy for MUCH longer than contraception has existed, and people have had plenty of casual and non-procreative sex over the years. All contraception has done is make it safe, and give women a choice about their bodies.

Yes I'm angry and sarcastic about this because I view it as one of the biggest lies out there. I believe it trickles down and creates many, many problems in individual lives and society as a whole. You want a reason why Islamic fundamentalists view the West is corrupt, here it is.

It would be fantastic if you would support this with any kind of data or rationale beyond your personal belief/religion. I'm telling you that contraception is important to gender equality and public health, what beyond, "No, I disagree because I believe something different," are you going to add?

I've tried to be nice and politically correct about this. But no one has given any reason why contraception is a good thing IMO yet and why sex should be the same as banobo sex. I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I just don't understand.

Well, how about gender equality? What about public health? What about the fact that sex releases hormones that relieve stress and facilitate bonding between two people, and people might want to do that more often than they want to have children? Why not because sex feels good and makes people happy?

Carlotta,
contraception is necessary because the male partner is always unsupportive of the female's desire to avoid pregnancy and is unable to have enough empathy to understand that desire and support is extremely insulting to men.
That's not what I was saying; I was saying that even if a couple makes a decision not to have a child together, if they fail for any reason the female bears a greater burden.

this is true even if a couple does use contraception. So then you would have to add abortion as a basic women's right to ensure equality. But even abortion carries health risks, physical and emotional, so men and woman are still not equal, woman is still more burdened. How would you address this point?

Well, nothing is perfect. Properly used contraception (especially using multiple methods at once) greatly reduces the risk of pregnancy and thus reduces the necessity of abortion. I do think abortion is a right, though I do think it should be a last resort. I don't see how you can have gender equality in a relationship or in a society if a woman doesn't have control over her fertility and body.

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PanHeraclitean
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I have to comment that in way of fertility, there can be no such thing as gender equality no matter how hard you try. I think that Carlotta said quite a lot to show that and I believe that you missed her point.

I'll give you some stats sometime tonight.

BTW how does the pill for instance promote health and decrease transmital of disease?

[ January 17, 2007, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: PanHeraclitean ]

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MattP
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quote:
I have to comment that in way of fertility, there can be no such thing as gender equality no matter how hard you try.
I agree, but I also believe that contraception greatly mitigates the disparity.
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simplybiological
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quote:
I have to comment that in way of fertility, there can be no such thing as gender equality no matter how hard you try. I think that Carlotta said quite a lot to show that and I believe that you missed her point.
I didn't miss her point at all. Perfect equality can't be achieved, but contraception and abortion rights do quite a bit to level the playing field. Is it your assertion that, if we can't make it perfectly equal, we should just write it off?


quote:
BTW how does the pill for instance promote health and decrease transmital of disease
I was thinking more along the lines of condoms when I said that; however, overpopulation is a public health issue, both because of resource availability and disease transmission, as well as quality of life.
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PanHeraclitean
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Just as an example I met with a work associate yesterday, man, who's wife was using contraception. They were very surprised to find that they were going to have twins dispite the precautions they took.

Point being that have sex and being a women naturally exposes you to the possibility to become pregnant. Men never worry about that, period. Thus any effort to make the playing field even seems superfluous.

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MattP
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quote:
Point being that have sex and being a women naturally exposes you to the possibility to become pregnant. Men never worry about that, period. Thus any effort to make the playing field even seems superfluous.
Why is it superfluous if it is effective at any level? If contraception simply didn't work, it would be superfluous. The fact that it works most of the time means it has an effect and by definition cannot be superfluous.
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