Sexist Comments of the Week: Contraceptive Ignorance Edition
Last week on the Sexist, we discussed the contraceptive knowledge deficit among young men (and I got into the sex ed video business). Readers, bless 'em, chimed in with more "magical" birth control theories they've heard over the years—from both men and women.
Lizrd's mom is mystified:
As a nuva ring user, it rocks and I miss it now that I’ve been booted from my parents health care. But yeah, my boyfriend was probably a little mystified by the whole endeavor. The most resistance came from my mom, who seemed to think it “caught sperm” and told me, a freshman in college “well its your pregnancy to worry about” when I told her I was making the switch from daily pills.
Sarah has heard some bizarre tampon theories in her day:
I had a boyfriend in my early twenties who thought that tampons were the size of penises, which is how they ‘filled’ you (yep, his word). He didn’t understand how I could skip the sugar pills and still be safe the week after.
Then again, I went to university with a women who thought you urinated from your vagina (not uretha), and thus avoided tampons. How would she go to the toilet then?
She was a sexually-active 21 year old at Cambridge in England. Jesus.
Shannon's boyfriend knows best:
A college boyfriend once told me I couldn’t possibly have my period because it was too early in the month. He had interpreted “every 28 days” to mean that all women, everywhere, simultaneously got their periods on the 28th of the month. He also accused me of lying when I still had said period 5 days later. His biology textbook had informed him that periods only lasted 3 days. (You’ll be shocked to hear this relationship did not last very long.)
K's sex partner finally understands pills—hundreds of women later:
I am sleeping with a 27-year-old man who has had many, many partners before me (all women.) One night he wanted me to stay over, and I said I can’t, I forgot my pills and don’t want to take one late. He said, “That’s okay, I just won’t come in you this time.” As if the pills were like condoms, and you took one every day you might get pregnant.
I explained that to him that they didn’t work if I took them irregularly, and that they were like antibiotics: they wouldn’t work if I gave up half-way thru. He understands much better now, but how he got to 27 without this knowledge, when I know he’s slept with literally hundreds of women, is mind-boggling.
disgusted dude knows a guy who is disgusted by vaginas:
There’s a Simpsons episode in which Nelson Muntz eats contraceptive pills hidden in a box of mints. His resulting hormonal imbalance is a running gag throughout the show. Jokes based on the idea The Pill contains hormones date back to 16 Candles. I’m stunned by the idea there are guys watching that and having no idea what they’re laughing about.
Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the 80s and my life just happened to co-incide with Peak Sex Ed. Even in conservative Florida, they started teaching the biology of reproduction in 6th grade and eventually covered periods and hormones.
Due to the growing AIDs crisis/panic, my college was aggressive about teaching reproductive health in general and people were receptive. This conintued into my young adulthood – fighting AIDs had the side effect of making general information about “down there” a more common talking point.
On the other hand, an acquaintence my age was a person for whom no subject was too gross except ladyparts. Scatology was a big topic, but jokes or even mentioning the cycle made him put hands over his ears.
Jamie put a copper thing in her baby incubator:
I got a copper IUD inserted recently and the whole process freaked my boyfriend out. It took lots of explaining for him to wrap his head around it and I think it still makes him uncomfortable. I make sure he is aware of what my genitals are doing at all times, though, so he’s used to hearing about it.
As for girls being equally clueless, a girl I know (who attends an Ivy League school) asked me if “the uterus is where the baby lives for nine months.”