Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A Little "Research Report" I Did

After reading yet another article on how increased access to contraceptives has done nothing to decrease unplanned pregnancies, I decided to do a little bit of research into contraceptives and their failure rates as compared with the increase in premarital sexual activity over the last century.  Please note that I'm not a professional researcher by any means, and that these results are the best I could come up with by doing some simple Internet searches for data on these points.  Even though it's most likely not completely accurate, I think the general pattern is pretty evident.


Artificial Contraception Research

Methods of Contraception (as listed by Planned Parenthood’s website, excluding sterilization)

Implant
Patch
Pill
Shot
Sponge
Vaginal Ring
Cervical Cap
Condom, male
Condom, female
Diaphragm
IUD
Morning-After Pill
Outercourse
Spermicide
Withdrawal

Failure Rates, averaging different brands of same method (according to chart on Wikipedia and information on the Planned Parenthood website)

Method      
Typical Use
Perfect Use             
Implant
.05%
.05%
Patch
8%
.3%
Pill
8%
.3%
Shot
3%
.3%
Sponge
24%
14.5%
Vaginal Ring
8%
.3%
Cervical Cap
18.5%
12%
Male Condom
15%
2%
Female Condom
21%
5%
Diaphragm
16%
6%
IUD
.5%
.4%
Morning-After Pill
~20%
~11%
Outercourse
~1%
~1%
Spermicide
29%
18%
Withdrawal
27%
4%


Average Typical Use Failure Rate: 13.27%
Average Perfect Use Failure Rate: 5.01%


Data Breakdown

Over the last century, the number of teenaged women engaging in pre-marital sex has increased from roughly 6% in 1900 to roughly 80% nowadays.  In other words, 6 out of every hundred teenaged women used to have premarital sex; now 80 out of one hundred do.  Even if we assume every teenaged woman having intercourse in 1900 to get pregnant (not a likely assumption), this would only result (in pre-birth control days) in 6 “unplanned” pregnancies in 1900.   If we assume all teenaged women today to use birth control, 13.27 percent with typical use will still get pregnant, and 5.01% with perfect use will still get pregnant.  In other words, now there will result roughly 10-11 “unplanned” pregnancies with all teenaged women practicing a typical use of birth control; and roughly 4 “unplanned” pregnancies will result with all teenaged women practicing a perfect use of birth control.

Conclusion

In 1900, we stated that a possible 6 unplanned pregnancies for every hundred teenaged women could take place.  This number was probably actually considerably less, when we take into account the fact that a woman can only get pregnant on a few days out of every month.  In the current age, we stated that if all 80 out of 100 teenaged women having premarital sex used birth control, the number would be either roughly 10-11 or 4 unplanned pregnancies, depending on how they use birth control.  Since the typical use is, by its very meaning, the one most-used, we can safely say that, under the given assumption, about 10 unplanned pregnancies will now happen for every 100 teenaged women.  But since probably not all teenaged women engaging in premarital sex were using a contraceptive, the overall “failure rate” (rate of pregnancy) in all 80 would no doubt rise higher still.

The overall conclusion is that the promotion of birth control does not lessen unplanned pregnancies; rather, it probably (taking all the above-mentioned factors into account) at least doubles the number.  The likely reason for this is that birth control induces a feeling of safety, such that many teenaged women who would not have had sex otherwise now have it; in fact so many more have sex that birth control’s effectiveness cannot “make up for” the increase in instances of premarital sex, thus more pregnancies result than before birth control.  In addition, the birth control “mentality” has made premarital sex so common and “normal” that at least some people probably engage in it without using contraception at all.  This only increases the likelihood of more unplanned pregnancies.

This conclusion is confirmed by data which shows that the out-of-wedlock birthrate has increased three-fold in the last 30-odd years (not to mention the many pregnancies which have ended in abortion).

1 Comments:

Blogger Jean de B. said...

This is really well done. You should send it to some periodical and see if they will print it.

10:48 AM  

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