Letters to the Editor


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Don't rely on the 'pull-out' method

I am writing this letter in response to the column "Where did the sex drive go?" (DI, Feb. 9)

A 22-year old woman wrote in saying that she suspected her birth control was the reason behind her decreased libido, and Dr. Herbenick responded that she try different contraceptives, such as condoms, IUDs, or the "pulling-out" method. And the last suggestion is the one I have an issue with.

I don't think any woman who wants to avoid pregnancy should use the withdrawal method, no matter how "very reliable" her boyfriend may be. My parents tried that, and you know what happened? I was conceived. According to the Planned Parenthood website, "Even if a man pulls out in time, pregnancy can still happen. Some experts believe that pre-ejaculate, or pre-cum, can pick up enough sperm left in the urethra from a previous ejaculation to cause pregnancy."

Luckily, my parents threw together a wedding, and we all ended up just fine, but that's not always the case with unwanted pregnancies. Instead of "pulling out," young couples should use one of the other contraceptives mentioned (such as the free condoms to be found throughout campus) or spermicide with a female condom (which was not mentioned in the article).

The withdrawal method is terrible advice to give to sexually active young woman, because it is totally unreliable.

Stay Safe, Iowa City.

Kelly McAleer
UI student

Ledge writer perpetuates sexism

This letter is in response to Andrew Juhl's Ledge on Feb. 9. Juhl wrote: "I don't go bowling unless I have my ball with me. Sorry, but sticking my fingers in the same dirty holes thousands of other's have before? Eww-gross. It's the same reason I don't date sorority girls." In his bio, he went on to claim that he would, indeed, be willing to date "sorority girls" because they are "easy."

As usual, Juhl failed in his attempt at humor. More importantly, though, his cheap attempt at humor suggested that all sorority women (roughly 1,500 women on campus) are universally whores. Shame on Juhl for traipsing in dehumanizing stereotypes. Shame, too, on the editors and publisher for finding Juhl's chauvinism so benign that it warranted publication.

It is this kind of language that continues to create hostile environments for women on this campus. Public discourse on campus should attempt to dismantle patriarchy and sexism, not foster it.

Don't mistake my critique for prudishness. I believe all people on this campus are free to make their own sexual choices without judgment. And while I also support Juhl's freedom of speech and press, I object to his feckless attempts to impugn the dignity of an entire segment of the university population.

David Barrett Gough
UI graduate student

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