If you want to get a group of young people—steeped in the virtues of “tolerance”, “dialogue” and “diversity”—to become instantly enraged and abusive, just start poking at their fantasies regarding the consequences of promiscuity. The women in class would become visibly agitated when presented with evidence regarding the failure rates of condoms, and the irrelevance of condoms for the transmission of certain types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Specifically, latex does little or nothing for diseases transmitted by skin contact. I told the students: “When Planned Parenthood says, ‘Putting on a condom can be a fun part of foreplay!’, they fail to tell you that in doing so you’ve had enough skin contact to get an S.T.D., even if you have had no contact with bodily fluids.”Share
When talking about how condoms can fail as a result of being exposed to extremes of heat or cold, for example, and develop gaps and channels as a result of being stretched, the sullen anger of the young men in class would boil over. One young man tossed aside the study from a medical journal that I had assigned. “You can make statistics say anything you want!” he yelled. “It’s true,” I admitted. “An author can dishonestly manipulate statistics. Can you show me where the author did so in this study?” He broke off eye contact and put his head down. He thereby signaled that he had dismissed the studying without reading it first, simply because he didn’t like the conclusion—a complete betrayal of the vocation of a university student. Suffice it to say that I brought that observation to the attention of the student and the whole class—at length and in a memorable fashion.
When I presented in class evidence that a woman could get pregnant while taking the Pill, the young women turned white and young men turned red. Then when I mentioned that drinking alcohol could inhibit the functioning of the Pill, the young men tended to snap their pencils and the young women would start to cry.
I asked, “Has your doctor told you about any of the side-effects of the Pill? Of the health risks?” They all shook their heads. I then asked, “Doesn’t it bother you that you have to hear about all this from a humanities major like me? Do you think your doctor needs to borrow my copy of ‘Managing Contraceptive Pill Patients’?” Later, several students admitted that they had called home to their mothers and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me about this?” I was shocked that the reported response of each mother was, “Oh my God! What is that priest trying to do to you?” (Read more.)