Condoms Blamed for Rape? Really?
The unbelievably crazy news item of the week (so far): As reported by Alessandra Rizzo for the Associated Press, “The head of Italy’s national association of Catholic pharmacists, Piero Uroda, suggested condoms were responsible for increased rapes and violence.”
This comment was made in response to a high school in Rome that is installing six condom vending machines in hopes that students will learn to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies, STDs and HIV.
Naturally the Catholic Church has lambasted the idea, because of the moral implication that if students are buying condoms, they must be having sex outside of the sanctity of marriage. Well, duh! I don’t think the Catholic Church has a lot of room to pontificate about proper sex practices right now. The church has already come out against the use of condoms in third world nations, another totally misplaced vision and policy.
I don’t deny that moral guidance is desirable, even critical, when adolescents start to become sexually active. This is something parents should be doing, aided by the school community. But pretending that young people don’t have sex has not gotten us anywhere. Just look at the rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS in countries that have no education programs or access to health care or proper hygiene. We still have an unacceptable rate of teen pregnancies in our own country.
And how ironic that our schools have vending machines full of fatty, sugary food and beverage items that contribute to obesity of our children, but that condoms are disallowed. Pretending that teens aren’t having sex won’t make it so, no matter how real our societal squeamishness and denial on the topic.
I am appalled at the suggestion that the use of condoms could be responsible for increased incidence of rape. Let’s face the facts, here. Rape is an act of violence perpetrated against another man or a woman. Condoms are not responsible for rape. Men are responsible for rape.