What surprised me about this story in the "Science" section of today's New York Times wasn't the effectiveness of pulling out—a.k.a. the withdrawal method—as a birth control option (which was reported back in June), or that pulling out is only a little less effective than using condoms (also reported back in June), but seeing the stats about the effectiveness of all the other birth control methods available to the young, horny, straight, and fertile ticked off in a few short paragraphs:
“If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year,” the authors write.
For condoms, used optimally, the rate is about 2 percent. But more significant, the authors say, are the rates for “typical use,” because people can’t be expected to use any contraception method perfectly every time. Typical use of withdrawal leads to pregnancy 18 percent of the time, they write; for typical use of condoms 17 percent of the time. (There are other, more effective methods. Failure rates for the pill and the patch are about 8 percent; for Depo-Provera injections, about 3 percent; and for diaphragms, about 16 percent. Intrauterine devices fail less than 1 percent of the time.)
Man, heterosexual sex is risky. If I were straight I wouldn't put my dick in a woman—the lower front part of a woman—if she wasn't anxious to exercise her right to choose.