contraception

contraception

Atlantic Article Misrepresents Catholic Take on Contraception

Atlantic, Catholic, contraception, social science, women No comments

A recent Atlantic article used fatally flawed data to misrepresent Catholic women’s support of the contraception mandate.

According to author Patricia Miller, debate over the Affordable Care Act has mischaracterized women’s healthcare interests. Miller cites a study led by Elizabeth Patton of the University of Michigan to assert that, although a small cohort of Catholic leaders may oppose contraception and abortion, Catholic women are very supportive. There is just one problem: Patton’s study relies on a disastrously biased sample of Catholics.  

According to Ms. Patton’s breakdown of religious service attendance by religious affiliation, zero percentnot one—of the surveyed Catholic women attend Mass weekly. It hardly takes an experienced demographer to realize that Patton’s sample does not accurately represent the Catholic population. A central component of Catholicism includes weekly celebration of the Eucharist, which means going to Mass. However, 190 of the 198 Catholics Patton queried disregard this core tenet of their Faith.  (Eight women surveyed were found to attend Mass more than once a week.) Patton’s 190 women do not represent how practicing Catholic women feel; rather, they represent how women indifferent to the Catholic Faith feel.

So, Patton’s survey essentially interviews Catholic women who are apathetic to their Faith. It is not surprising that this class of Catholics (“nominal” Catholics?) is apathetic to whether their Church is forced to provision abortifacients and contraceptives. Sociologically relevant studies would rather measure how the average Catholic—indifferent or not to her Faith—feels about the mandate. Such unbiased data would represent Catholic women and more honestly shape public debate.

According to a Pew study, 63 percent of weekly church-going Catholics – men and women – believe religiously affiliated institutions should be exempted from the HHS Mandate.  (Only 25 percent say their Church should be required to cover contraceptives; 11 percent respond “Other/ Don’t Know.”)  Importantly, 48 percent of Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly (about half of those Catholics) still oppose mandated coverage. Scientifically sound data indicates that the majority of Catholics do, indeed, oppose the contraception mandate. (This majority feeling is the averaged feeling of all Catholics, indifferent or not to their Faith.)

Patricia Miller’s conclusion that Catholic women support contraception coverage, and that only Catholic pundits oppose it, cannot be held. Ms. Miller has made a career on asserting that “good Catholics” (her phrase) can support contraception and abortion despite the Church’s teaching.  Unfortunately for her assertions, the data show the opposite:  It is the most lax, the most cherry-picked, Catholics that agree with her.

Politics Posing as Medical Science

abortion, abstinence, contraception, mothers, news, reproductive technology, women's health No comments

By Pat Fagan, Ph.D., Director of MARRI

NBC News and many others have lauded the results of the Peipert program evaluation of the effects of LARCs (long term reversible contraceptives), namely IUDs and implant contraceptives, which they claim have (unsurprising) effects in lowering abortions.  However, there is much to dispute about the study.   Its method is almost non-existent though a lot of words are used to describe it.  This means their results may be a massive underestimation of the effects or even a massive overestimation of the effects.  We just don’t know;  the “method” is totally unreliable.  It is analogous to going into a library to find out the level of reading in the local population, or to giving a book to those you find at a library to figure out the effect of reading on such people!  In this case they go to a group of women desirous of reversible control methods.  To make matters worse: they have no comparison control group. They do not line up treatment and control (absolutely fundamental to this type of study), but they insinuate comparisons. The project team went through all sorts of contortions to estimate the effects, but they avoided the obvious simple, fundamental step of having a control group.  This is political correctness trumping good scholarship (a dangerous trend in the social sciences that will eventually come back to haunt academia).
Though I am opposed to their way of thinking and acting (more anon), I would have expected LARCs to have had much better results than they did.  There is still way too high a rate of abortion from a method one would expect to virtually totally eliminate it. This much-lauded method does not come close.     
 
Other big concerns I have about this approach to avoiding abortions is the effect of this form of behavior on the long-term marital, family, parenting, and sexual habits of the women involved.  My prediction is that young women who use these methods (who would not feel sexually liberated with totally effective birth control methods) will have many more sexual partners, behavior that itself increases the likelihood of procuring an abortion.  The program will also have high STD effects, likely have very significant effects on future marital stability, and in turn have significantly weakening effects on these women’s future children’s life outcomes.  That STD rate effects would be tracked and measured is something one would expect to be second nature for OBGYNs to report upon.  Maybe there is a second study coming (but that would be useless too, given no control group.)
So: failing grades on method and on narrowness of their view of effectiveness.  And failing grades also are given to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for rushing shoddy work to press in order to influence the Presidential campaigns.  That is really sad.  It definitely is not good science, nor good politics either, though we would expect medical science to stay above the political fray.  All in all, it is a sad day for medicine and science. 

For an in-depth analysis of the study, see Dr. Michael New’spiece.

Student Debate: Taxing Conscience

conscience, contraception, sexuality No comments
By Alex Schrider, Intern
September’s Values Voters Summit included a “Student Mixer” that featured a debate between Blake Meadows, a student at Patrick Henry College, and John W. McCarthy, Chairman of Catholic University of America’s (CUA) College Democrats.  The debate focused on the HHS contraceptive mandate, against which numerous Christian institutions (including CUA), and even states, have filed suit, arguing that it infringes on the “free exercise” clause. 
Mr. McCarthy claimed two major things: 1) the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception is something with which good Catholics can disagree, and 2) the fact that the pope made his decision contrary to the recommendation of his council of advisors somehow cheapens the contraception teaching of the Catholic Church.
The primary argument against the HHS mandate is that it compels individuals and organizations to act against the established teachings of their religion, a point that Catholic institutions have emphasized. But if the Catholic contraception position is optional, as McCarthy suggests, then on what basis can an institution “force” that position on its employees? Even a church couldn’t be exempt if that were true, as the matter becomes a question of personal choice, not religious doctrine.
Of course, this might have been a moot point if the robust conscience provisions left in place at the end of the Bush administration had remained in place. Instead, those provisions have been attacked (and, for the most part, gutted) by the same administration which is now mandating contraception coverage. Without an appeal to religious doctrine there is little left to protect the interests of objecting individuals, and nothing left to protect objecting institutions…even places of worship.
Except for one thing: Mr. McCarthy is wrong in his representation of Catholic teaching. The teaching of the Catholic Church (fecundity) is clearly laid out in its catechism, and is beyond contestation by the faithful (sec. 891 and 892). To compel a person or organization to be an accessory to an act contrary to deeply held religious belief goes against the core of American tradition. This trespass of government shouldn’t energize only Catholics, but every individual who believes in moral truth, particularly when the “benefit” from such a measure is undetectable.
As numerous individuals, including FRC’s Jeanne Monahan, have pointed out, the “need” for increased access to contraception is non-existent: there is already substantial government funding, many insurance companies already cover it, and it is readily available and affordable. So why the zealous push for an intrusive mandate?
MARRI has documented the effects of widespread contraceptive use: when birthrate decreases, the average age of a population increases, eventually leading to population decline. An aging and declining population is associated with economic problems, not the least of which is the substantial burden placed on the shoulders of the smaller, younger generation, which must provide for the disproportionately large elderly generation. There is no long-term economic benefit to be derived from coercing contraceptive use.
Beyond the cost-benefit analysis, however, it boils down to a question of principle and tradition. Until now, American government has generally erred on the side of religious freedom, and never has moral and religious conscience been taxed…until this administration. A fundamental shift in regulation of conscience has occurred: the traditional freedom of individuals to “practice what they preach” should be curbed to facilitate sweeping partisan policies.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather have the option to conscientiously disagree with the ruling party – without being fined for it.

6 months. 40 cities. Millions of free condoms.

contraception, marriage, sexuality No comments

Amanda Brennan, Intern

A little more than two weeks ago the Condom Nation truck pulled up to the city of Washington D.C. to end its tour across the United States at the XIX International Aids Conference. The aim of the campaign was to encourage increased condom use for HIV/AIDS awareness and safe-sex practices. The effort included handing out free condoms, partnering with other organizations to offer free HIV tests, and calling for lower condom prices among retailers. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation sponsored the trip, which began in Venice Beach, California, on February 13th, 2012, which is International Condom Day. My first encounter with the campaign came while riding a Metro bus. When I looked out the window, I spotted a giant, American-flagged condom on a truck across the street. Normally, I am used to seeing an ice cream truck or something of that sort, but I guess times are changing…

The shocking image caught peoples’ attention across the country, but reviews about the campaign were mixed. Some agreed with AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s president Michael Weinstein: that “condoms are an essential part of preventing HIV and STDs” and that they are vital for “disease prevention and safer sex.” Others, like 14-year-old Shannon DeLuca of New Jersey, worried that the truck would give people the wrong idea: “I understand what they’re trying to do, but it’s not the message I’d send out to people. To people my age, they would think it’s OK to have sex.”

The young teen is on to something. Although those behind the campaign have an admirable goal in mind—preventing the spread of HIV and STDs—their methods of doing so may not be effective, beneficial, or harm-free in the long run. Yes, the incidences of gonorrhea, syphilis, and AIDS have decreased over the years, but cases of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and teen condom use have increased, as shown in theMARRI Annual Report on Family Trends.

Americans cannot depend on a latex sleeve to solve our country’s sexual and health problems. Condoms may help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and reduce the rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but it cannot eliminate the consequences of sex for individuals and relationships. Rather than depend on “easy” solutions, individuals must come to a greater understanding and respect of human sexuality as it was intended by our Creator.

 

Reality Check: What Do Teens Really Want?

abstinence, contraception, marriage, teen pregnancy 1 comment
Katie Staudt, Intern
 
A project to prevent teen pregnancy was recently launched by the City of Baltimore’s Health Department called “Know What U Want.” From the campaign’s title, it appears to be an admirable undertaking. After all, no one wants teen pregnancy nor does anyone object to empowering teens to know what they want in life. However, on their website, teens will only discover how to choose their method of birth control and learn how to “get the goods” (which teens are assured can done without their parents’ knowledge). Is this really empowering teens to know what they want? Well, not according to social science.
Such a campaign presupposes that what teens want is sex and the only thing left to “know” is what method of birth control is best for them. But the reality is sex is not ultimately what teens want. While it is true that many teens engage in sex (nearly 48% of all high schoolers), a majority realize afterward that sex and hooking up is not all that it’s cracked up to be. In fact, research shows that 91% of girls who “hook up” have regrets due to guilt or feeling used, and 80% wish it never happened. Even MTV reports that nearly 2/3 of teens wish they had waited to have sex.
Of course, this same data could be used to suggest we need to help that small percentage of teens who don’t have regrets know what birth control they want. But, the reality is teens who begin sexual activity at a young age are likely to deal with permanent negative physical, psychological, social and economic consequences that they might not immediately realize. A Heritage research report shows that sexually active teens have a higher probability of becoming infected by STDs, fall into depression, and eventually have unstable marriages and live in poverty.
Even with all these facts, it might seem worthwhile to give teens “what they want” to at least prevent teen pregnancy. But, the reality is a number of studies have shown that contraceptives do not prevent teen pregnancy. In fact, a recent study conducted by  a professor from Duke and Yale found that“programs that increase access to contraception are found to decrease teen pregnancies in the short run but increase teen pregnancies in the long run.”
Teens, like all humans, want happiness and fulfillment. Even though some seek happiness in sex, they haven’t found it there. So if we really are trying to empower teens to know what they want, perhaps we should begin by explaining how we are designed as humans as well as the negative consequences when we go against our design and positive outcomes when we live in line with it. It also might not be a bad idea to promote healthy families and worshipbecause, in reality (see hereand here), that’s where the most happiness is found.

Safe Sex?

abstinence, contraception, marriage, sexuality No comments
Amanda Brennan, Intern 
 
When did sex become dangerous?That’s the question my theology professor, Fr. Dan Pattee, posed in class last semester about the well-known slogan, “safe sex.” Since when did the act intended to preserve the human race and to unite married couples into deeper union become unsafe? The answer is simple: when it was taken out of its original context and manipulated by man’s sensual appetites.
Now, the world faces an AIDS and STD epidemic along with a culture rampant with premarital sex, pornography, adultery, divorce, abortion, teenage pregnancy, single-parenthood, and more. Many believe the solution to sexually active adolescents comes with the launching of “safe sex” programs, while others think abstinence programs to be effective. This difference of opinion can be seen by the recent controversy behind the release of the “National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents: Attitudes and Opinions about Sex and Abstinence.” Back in August of 2010 the study performed by an entity of HHS was only partially released until enough people complained and some even filed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Debate came after the survey, which reviewed 1,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 and their parents, found that 60% of teens believed only married people should have sex and 70% of adults believed their children should wait until marriage to have sex. Furthermore, 68.3% of teens responded that they would like a family member to educate them on sex, and 92.3% of parents agreed, wishing that they or someone in their family would teach their teens about sex. As Catherine Snow of Citizen Link explains, the study “does not support the administration’s objective – or that of vocal “safe sex” activists – of eliminating all abstinence-education funding.” So, what kind of sexual programs should be advocated, “safe sex” or abstinence?
In a perfect world, neither. But that really isn’t an option today. There is a disconnect between parent and child on issues of sex. For various reasons kids are not receiving sex education at home like once before, and as a result it has to be taught at school. MARRI research shows over and over the importance of an intact married family. A home where a mother and father are living out human sexual love is where healthy sex education is fostered. The breakdown can be seen in the following MARRI study: for women under the age of 18, first sexual intercourse occurs at 52% in an intact married family, while with single-parenthood it is above 70%.
The battle continues to decide which education approach will prevail, “safe sex” or abstinence, but the recent survey must not be overlooked. Sex is sacred and it should be explained in a sacred environment. That environment is within an intact married family. As demonstrated above, both parents and teens desire that sex education be nurtured in the family. Sex is not dangerous; it is blessed and beautiful within the marriage of a man and a woman.

The “Miracle” Drug

contraception, sexual revolution, women's health, youth No comments

Amanda Brennan, Intern
Growing up, I have distinct memories of TV commercials featuring happy, care-free women shopping or going out with friends, while in the background a voice told of the benefits of the latest birth control pill. Though I was clueless about the advertisement itself, I was struck by one phrase: “Have only four periods a year.” For a girl nearing young womanhood, the idea sounded brilliant! Yet, something always left me unconvinced and unsettled.
When the birth control pill came on the scene in the 1960s, it was intended to be the most reliable contraceptive to date. Now, an estimated 11.2 million women aged 15 to 44 use the Pill each year in the United States, as noted by the Guttmacher Institute. Oral contraceptive pills, or OCPs, do more than prevent pregnancy these days; they have additional uses for 58% of users. The study explained that 31% of women use them for cramping, 28% for regulating menstrual cycles, 14% for acne, 4% for endometriosis, and 11% for other reasons. It is believed that 1.5 million women use them without contraceptive intentions at all. The medical world has deemed OCPs “miracle” drugs, as they are prescribed more and more each day to treat health issues. But do these pills in cute packaging deliver healing, or do they wreak havoc on the female body?
With childhood reservations still in the back of my mind, I decided to look into the birth control pill Seasonale, which reduces the frequency of menstruation in a year. I wanted to know the true effects of artificial hormones on the body, specifically the brain. Seasonale’s mechanism of action, the “suppression of gonadotropins,” stuck out to me while searching the Physicians’ Desk Reference. Gonadotropins make up two hormones needed for development and reproduction, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Their production is controlled by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which regulates the sex steroids testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, thus, contributing to such things as male and female behaviors and maintaining a pregnancy. Usually, cells in the anterior pituitary gland of the brain called gonadotrophs emit LH and FSH, but OCPs manipulate their normal production.
In their recent article, Women’s Brains on Steroids, Drs. Craig H. Kinsley and Elizabeth A. Meyer ask, “What happens, then, when the female brain gets a significant and artificial dose of steroid hormone, either progesterone, estrogen or both?  We know what happens below the waist, the pregnancies prevented.  What happens above the neck, as this steroidal tsunami washes over the neural coastline?” They found their answer in a study featured in the Brain Research Journal that explored the impact of hormonal contraceptives on the brain at different points in a woman’s cycle. Though not detailed or large, the study found that the part of the brain controlling higher cognitive thinking abilities is affected more among women who take the Pill than among those who do not. Kinsley and Meyer point out that these changes may not always deliver positive results, since many women complain they do not feel like themselves after popping artificial hormones into their bodies via birth control pills. In the end, the authors conclude that “[t]he possibility that an accepted form of chemical contraception has the ability to alter the gross structure of the human brain is a cause for concern, even if the changes seem benign — for the moment…Like the rest of life, and like the steroid choices made by those ballplayers, there are costs and benefits.  The benefits are well established; the costs, however, are still coming to light.”
Now that the Pill is being used for more than just contraceptive purposes, people must ask if it delivers health or merely creates more problems. Rather than just blunt or prevent pain from cramping, shouldn’t a woman know what is causing her cramping in the first place? Rather than blindly take a pill that regulates menstrual cycles, shouldn’t a woman know why her body is out of whack (if, indeed, it is)? I don’t think swallowing pills that can alter brain function, even temporarily, is good medicine. Instead of turning to quick fixes deemed “miracle” drugs, we ought to work withour bodies and not against them. The underlying problems must be addressed with actual cures, not Band-Aids, as explained by Dr. Thomas Hilgers, MD, creator of the innovative women’s health science NaProTechnology.
There is more to scratch your head about than just the Pill’s impact on the brain. As MARRI blogger Katie Staudt mentioned in a recent post, a connection between contraception and the rising divorce rate (among other things) has been found. Furthermore, as high school students continue to be sexually active, more of them will turn to OCPs. As we show in MARRI’s Annual Report on Family Trends, birth control pill use by sexually active high school students rose was at 16% in. Still more young women may be taking the Pill for reasons other than birth control. If these pills can upset the normal functioning of a grown woman’s body, what impact can they have on a developing young woman’s body?
I’m left with one more question: If the use of birth control pills among young women solely for health reasons is increasing, is this not giving them the green flag on sexual activity? Well, it sure is giving them the tools for it.

Green Sex= Great Marriage?

contraception, divorce, MARRI, women's health No comments

Katie Staudt, Intern
Last week, MARRI blogger Amanda Brennan wrote a post entitled “Green Sex” (see a few posts below). Amanda explained how there is a strong push in society to “Go Green” in order to be better stewards of both the earth and the human body. Yet, at the same time, over 40% of women between 15-44 are using some form of hormonal birth control that pumps dangerous chemicals into their bodies. So while people are attempting to be organic and healthy, they are sabotaging their own efforts by using hormonal contraceptives that have a number of health risks.
However, some people are beginning to question the use of hormonal birth control (and all forms of artificial birth control) for more than just its health risks. A new website called 1Flesh is a grass roots effort that was just launched by a group of young people as a “revolt against artificial birth control” with the goal to “bringing great sex to the entire universe.” 1flesh.orgis a provocative website (read their “About Us” page) that asks their readers to consider a host of compelling arguments from a secular viewpoint, primarily utilizing the fields of medicine, sociology, and philosophy.
One argumentthat 1Flesh presents is the connection between divorce and artificial contraception. They state that “the national divorce rate doubled from 1965 to 1976, at the same time the use of artificial contraception was made widespread and acceptable.” This is no coincidence. Distinguished sociologist Robert Michael from the University of Chicago, in his analysis “Why did the U.S. Divorce Rate Double within a Decade” (published in Research in Population Economics) explained that the “sudden widespread use of artificial contraception during the same period is responsible for about half (45%) of this increase.” MARRI’s working paper on the correlates and effects of contraceptive use cites the same research. I’d suggest reading the whole argument presented by 1Flesh regarding divorce rates, especially if you’re still skeptical; but assuming the research is true, we must consider the implications of divorce. 
Divorce, while widely accepted, has catastrophic effects for the individuals involved and for society at large. Children are particularly harmed by divorce, as clearly illustrated by MARRI’s  “Effects of Divorce on Children.” It shows that children of divorced parents generally have lower educational attainment, weaker relationships with their parents, earlier and greater sexual promiscuity, more social and psychological problems, greater risk of marital problems and divorce later in life, and many other negative effects.
If the research is correct and artificial contraception indeed leads or contributes to higher divorce rates, perhaps green sex is not only healthier for your body; it might make for a healthier marriage and society, too.

What Kind of Equality are We Concerned With?

abortion, contraception, family, feminism, marriage No comments

Eileen Gallagher, Intern
In the past few months many people have been discussing the “War on Women.” In the news there has been a focus both on women’s “reproductive rights” and sex-selective abortions. These topics are very controversial because anyone who dares to think contraception or abortion is bad is contradicting feminist ideals, which include freedom, choice, and tolerance. Interestingly, recent research shows that equality between men and women, which feminists have been fighting for since the early 1900s, is no longer a problem. Two topics often discussed in the feminist movement are salary differences between men and women, as well as the persistent lack of women as top executives in the professional world. For feminists this is proof that we still live in a male dominated culture and that women are still oppressed. 
In 2008 Susan Pinker published a book called The Sexual Paradox which explores the paradox that “after decades of women’s educational coups and rising through the ranks, men still outnumber women in business, physical science, law, engineering and politics.” The author explains the paradox, basing her argument in human nature. Men and women are different. In the past 50 years women have had the same opportunities as men in world of education, and gradually girls have had greater academic successes than boys. The ratio of girls to boys among valedictorians or honors students in schools throughout the country is proof of the change. Girls, on average, get better grades than boys in school, and in the past few years more women than men have been graduating from college and graduate programs. If there is a war involving women in the education world, the women are winning it. 
But Susan Pinker’s paradox has not been answered: if women are more successful than men at a younger age, why do they still get paid less than men? This is when an understanding of human nature can provide answers. Women have innate maternal instincts, and even if they do not become biological mothers, many (though of course not all) women would rather work with and help people (e.g., social work and nursing are female-dominated professions) rather than doing the design work of engineers, or the lab work of scientists. Certainly some women enjoy these jobs, but many gravitate toward careers where they feel they are making a tangible difference in people’s lives. The careers that pay the most, such as engineering, computer science, architecture, and medicine, often are unattractive to women because of the type of work or the demanding hours. Many women want to be become mothers and it is nearly impossible for a doctor doing her residency to also have a newborn baby. A woman who wants to have children often chooses to be a nurse or a teacher, who will not earn as much as a doctor, but will have flexibility to be available for her children. The Marriage and Religion Research Institute showed that people are more likely to report being proud of the work they do if they are married. It seems that marriage and family life can bring about greater happiness in the working world, contrary to the feminists’ ideas.
Human nature explains the pay difference, as well as the lack of women as top executives. The path to become a senior staff member in a company generally involves decades of long hours, late nights, and little vacation time. Women are capable of this, but often do not want it. Many mothers gladly give up their dreams of a big house and fancy car for a few more hours at home each day, and to greet their children as they come off the bus from school. The feminist movement continues to cry for equality between men and women, but there are different types of equality. Equality of opportunity has been achieved, but equality of outcomes is impossible because men and women are naturally different.

“Green Sex”

contraception, MARRI, sexuality, women's health No comments

Amanda Brennan, Intern

In the last few decades society has jumped on an environmental bandwagon, a green one to be exact. People are trading in junk food for organic food, companies such as Bank of America are reducing paper intake by doing more online banking, and recycling has become strategic and readily-available. The idea that was initially meant to help the environment has developed into a “Go Green” craze. The initiative has opened people’s eyes to being better stewards of both the earth and the human body. But has it been eye-opening enough? 
Ashley E. McGuire of the new women’s magazine, Verily, presents a fresh take on the subject of “Going Green” in reference to sex. In the article, Love and Living Green, the author reveals that being a good steward of the human body is not only about minding what food and drink goes into your mouth and how much you exercise, but also about realizing the importance of sexual health. McGuire describes the present trend of making more nutritious choices by avoiding foods drenched in pesticides, ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, and hormone-tainted meats. Yet, as the author points out, deadly chemicals enter women’s bodies each day by way of hormonal contraception. 
 “As Americans quasi-obsessed with eating organically–with making sure no chemicals go into our produce and no hormones into our meat–we are at the same time culturally attached to a most un-organic method of sex and reproduction,” explains McGuire. The author is not the first to bring this reality to light. Dr. Janet Smith, Chair of Life Ethics and Professor of Moral Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan,explains in Contraception: Why Not?, “We live in a culture that is beginning to realize that it’s bad to put chemicals in the air and in the water supply and food. But women are putting chemicals in their bodies day after day, month after month, year after year, to stop something that’s perfectly healthy.” McGuire notes that “over 40 percent of women aged 15 to 44 in this country [are] using some form of hormonal contraceptives.” 
The data from the Guttmacher Institute coincides with The Marriage and Religion Research Institute’s Annual Report on Family Trends. From 2006 to 2008 it is shown that 28 percent of women aged 15 to 44 used the birth control pill during sexual intercourse. The remaining 12 percent noted above in the total 40 percent must be attributed to other hormonal contraceptives such as the patch, certain IUDs, and the vaginal ring. In any case, the reality is this: destructive artificial hormones are making their way into the human body and the environment via human waste despite peoples’ attempts to lead a wholesome lifestyle. Thousands of women seek to be healthier; however, their efforts are often in vain due to the effects of hormonal contraceptives, which are believed to contribute to health risks such as high cholesterol, breast cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, high blood pressure, and blood clots. 
In order to create a healthier environment for the earth and its inhabitants, people must be aware of what they are putting into their bodies via food, drink, air, and now in the realm of sexual health. Adopting “Green Sex” and grasping the truth of hormonal contraceptives will only benefit society. So, ponder McGuire’s ending question, “As our culture increasingly embraces eating and living organically, is it time to extend this philosophy from the kitchen to the bedroom? Is it time to reconsider life’s most organic act – sex? Is it time for green sex to go mainstream?” And decide for yourself.