FYI

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Don't blame the Pill; it's your own damn fault

  • Print

THERE are, as every responsible adult knows, many urgent reasons to practise safe sex. Even irresponsible teenagers -- we might as well be realistic here -- understand, at least in principle, why safe sex is a Good Thing, even though, like many responsible adults, they don't pay much attention to it when they get right down to the real nitty-gritty.

Among those good reasons that are so often ignored is the old hobgoblin of unwanted pregnancy that haunts us all -- or at least that haunts most of you since I have already had to deal with Accidental, Unexpected and Caboose, three of the finest children you would ever want to meet -- and, of course, the plethora of sexually transmitted diseases of varying degrees of deadliness that we and Mother Nature have collaborated in creating.

Now, a team of researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto has come up with an even more compelling reason to practice safe sex or, perhaps, for men, at least, to just abandon the whole business completely.

As reported on BMJ Open, an on-line publication, doctors say there is evidence that women cause prostate cancer in men. Well, it is not precisely women that cause it. It is the birth control pills that many women use that are actually to blame.

"The Pill," as it has come to be fondly known, liberated women from the sexual tyranny of a society that saw them mainly as the breeders and carers of kids and allowed them finally to kick up their heels.

Most men didn't complain -- the Pill opened up vast new vistas for them too. Birth control pills, however, release estrogen into women's bodies and, through their excretion of bodily fluids, into the environment. Estrogen levels in areas where there is a high proportion of women on the Pill are measurably different from areas where birth control is little practised or other methods, such as IUDs and condoms, are more common.

The researchers found a correlation between the rates of prostate cancer in men and the use of the Pill by women. As the latter goes up, so does the former. The results are only tentative, so you don't have to plasti-wrap your girlfriend just yet. And don't go blaming her either. If you could be trusted to practise safe sex, she could give up the Pill. "Some people claim, there's a woman to blame," as the old Jimmy Buffett song goes, "but I know, it's my own damn fault."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 19, 2011 j2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.