Let’s face it, college students are having sex. In fact, the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada recently released a report stating 72 per cent of Canadian college students are sexually active.
So with hormones running high and limitless opportunities for intimate encounters on campus, birth control such as the pill, an IUD, hormone shots and the patch, should be considered a college girl’s best friend. Why? Other popular methods, like abstinence, the withdrawal method and condoms are simply not effective.
What’s the problem with abstinence when it comes to female college students?
In college, both female and male students are on their own for the first time, with little supervision. Women especially need to do more than abstain to protect themselves because we all know men aren’t always the reliable ones. However, many women do choose to avoid sex as a birth control method due to religious or other moral reasons.
In 2013, the SIECCAN reported 27 per cent of college males and 23 per cent of college females had never engaged in vaginal, oral or anal sex.
For those who do have sex, the withdrawal method is a popular choice of birth control. A 2016 study, which appeared in the journal Conception, claims 33 per cent of women used the withdrawal method as a form of birth control in the last month.
But this method, where the male withdraws his penis from a woman’s vagina prior to an orgasm in an effort to prevent pregnancy, is ridiculous. While your male partner may reassure you it is a foolproof method, Contracept.org reports “pulling out” has a failure rate of 27 per cent.
As many have seen around campus, Durham College is doing their part in advocating for consensual sex through the use of powerful message. Messages such as “silence is not consent” are plastered around the campus in an effort to get students thinking about what safe sex looks like.
When it comes to students having sex, condoms are a much better option. This is why condoms are such a vital part of the sex education curriculum in Canada, especially when it comes to protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. Unfortunately, according to the SIECCAN report, 50 per cent of students are not using condoms. When it comes to protection from pregnancy, condoms are not a guaranteed birth control method. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, condoms have a failure rate of 12 per cent.
Despite the many benefits of taking birth control into our own hands, female-led methods have been criticized for being more expensive.
According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, over 11 European Union countries including New Zealand, and Australia, offer universal coverage for birth control, but Canada is not one of them. But we should be.
But while birth control does add an additional expense to a college woman’s budget, it is a much easier thing to budget for than the cost of raising a child.
In college, sex is everywhere. Knowing your options is so important to the success of your future. Abstinence doesn’t work, the withdrawal method is unsuccessful and condoms are known to be faulty.