Contraception: That’s Not How It Works, Guys

I am not going to link to the Rush Limbaugh “slut” comment. I have too busy a day ahead to spend the next six hours furiously scrubbing myself in the shower whilst rocking and weeping.

I will, however, attempt a substantive point, since this idea that young women are having so much sex they are going broke and want taxpayers to bail them out seems to be solidifying into an actual, real-life meme (which is a bit astounding given what year it is).

That’s just not how it works! Reading the comments that have been made recently, you get the sense that the people—mostly older guys—puking out these sorts of arguments haven’t quite grasped the basics of circa-20121960s contraceptive technology.

So, to all the people making this argument: Hi! Here’s a quick primer. This debate is mostly about the pill, not condoms. It’s not the case that every time a woman has sex she has to take a pill (though something like that also exists for emergency situations, and I’m aware that this enrages you). Rather, women get a prescription for these things called birth-control pills that are generally taken every day. So it’s a fixed prescription cost, and like many such costs, if insurance doesn’t cover it it can get out of hand really quickly because our medical system is an octopus riding a donkey riding a skateboard into a sadness quarry. But there is no proportional relationship between the amount of sex a woman has and the number of standard birth-control pills she consumes. Why, there are even women who aren’t sexually active who take the pill for medical reasons. Whoa!

I know this is a lot to take in all at once, guys. But there are plenty of online resources available if you have any questions.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.