Even with the availability of reliable contraceptives, parents still tend to protect daughters more than sons. Fathers appreciate that young women do not have the same carnal instincts of young men. Most parents accept that girls are focused on a relationship and love. Girls don’t want to be ‘used’ for a one-night stand. For boys, a variety of lovers is part of the fun of sex.
Male sex drive means that men view intercourse as an erotic act. Men rarely consider the consequences that women are more aware of. If a woman falls pregnant she is easily identified as a mother. If the father is absent or unknown the shame falls on her and the child. Men are not so easily identified or put in a situation where they have to take responsibility for the consequences of unprotected intercourse.
Marriage laws exist to ensure that men accept responsibility for the consequences of intercourse.
Sex is trivial to women in the sense that they are indifferent to it. Women are not aroused by sex but it is easy enough to provide. Immediately a woman falls pregnant, it becomes her problem. Men promote how wonderful sex is but men see sex only in terms of the pleasure they enjoy. Men don’t feel responsible for getting a woman pregnant. For men, sex is an erotic pleasure that they don’t connect with reproduction. Men are much less inclined to consider the consequences of their actions than women are.
The (contraceptive) pill, taken on a daily basis by a woman, contains hormones that stop her ovaries producing eggs. A condom, worn by the man over his penis during intercourse, prevents semen entering the vagina. A woman can wear a rubber diaphragm over her cervix (neck of the uterus). The coil is inserted by a doctor. The coil prevents sperm entering the uterus. A woman can also take a ‘morning after’ pill the day after having unprotected intercourse, which may prevent her becoming pregnant.
Reproduction is about the creation of life. Conception is truly amazing. It’s also a responsibility. To bring a new life into the world, involves a great deal of work. Many people feel that abortion is morally wrong. Religious beliefs about conception attribute a soul to a zygote just a few seconds old.
Unwanted pregnancies are common. Even though it takes two people to make a child, women are held responsible for a child’s daily care. Women are often held solely responsible for abortion. Even rape is not considered sufficient reason for a woman to have an abortion in some cultures.
Abortion laws vary considerably between countries. A woman often needs both the father’s and a doctor’s consent. Most European countries give a woman the unconditional right to abortion within the first 15 weeks. Shame and fear of reprisal cause women to delay getting help when they fall pregnant. Others are ignorant of the symptoms of pregnancy or the cause.
Sterilisation involves rendering a person infertile (incapable of reproducing). In a woman, the fallopian tubes are cut. This prevents an egg descending into the womb and being fertilised. In a man, the tubes from the testes are cut. This prevents sperm being added to his ejaculate. In either case the surgery is irreversible so it is a serious decision to make.
The vagina (like the mouth) is a warm and moist place that easily attracts fungal infections such as thrush. Thrush causes an itchy feeling within the vagina. Women may assume that these infections arise because they have done something improper. This is unlikely. Women are advised to wash themselves between the legs thoroughly at least once a day and preferably after defecating. Cystitis, an infection of the bladder, causes a stinging feeling in the bladder and is often accompanied by urgent sense of needing to urinate. Medication can alleviate symptoms and eliminate the infection.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are transferred between people when there is sexual activity involving body fluids. The more partners a person has (the more promiscuous they are) the more likely they are to catch one of these diseases. Treatments are available but some diseases are incurable and extremely inconvenient and painful for the person who has them. AIDS is commonly fatal. Drug-users are also vulnerable to catching AIDS. Anyone who contracts these conditions (including prostitutes) must always ensure that condoms are used to prevent the disease spreading further.
… no matter what she says, how much she likes sex and all that jazz, if she is literally being penetrated by you … then her emotional and mental well-being will always be involved as well. Always. (Alice Carter 2014)