“The Pullout Generation”

Pulling Out Is as Effective as Using Condoms.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 1.10.51 PM
Researches has shown that pulling out is as effective as the use of condom. Why do people still think it is irresponsible and lazy?
Eliza and her partner adopted this method for a year successfully. Catherine and her partner did it for three years. Christina asserted that she used this method for 12 years total, in a couple of long-term monogamous relationships with men and it was also successful. These women, and i, are all believers of what Ann Friedman famously called “the pullout generation,”. These are straight women inclined to using the pulling out method as their basic form of contraceptive.

Today the most criticized form of birth control is the “pulling out” method also called the withdrawal method. It’s often said that this method is “better than nothing”, irresponsible and ill-conceived. The emergence of a recent CDC report suggested that pulling out is the second-most commonly attempted form of birth control among teenagers, it paints it as an option based on hope and prayer rather than biological practicality. Teens reflect the thought of adults in this as in the US it is reported that about 60 percent of adult women used the pull out at least once. The real numbers maybe higher, as many people don’t really regard this method as a form of birth control.

But when adopted perfectly the withdrawal method is the most effective as condoms at preventing pregnancy
Media report of the CDC study, which had hailed a rise in commitment to birth control among young people, gave an obligatory finger wag to withdrawal, “one of the least effective ways to prevent pregnancy” but one aspect the media failed to show is that studies place pulling out on the same level as the widely accepted condom
Withdrawal… is about as effective as condoms at preventing pregnancy” begins a 2014 study published by Contraception, an international journal of reproduction. when it is done perfectly- in other words, if the male partner pulls before ejaculation during every incidence of vaginal sex– only 4 percent of couples who adopt this withdrawal system will get pregnant within a year. Imperfect, or normal, use bumps that 18 percent. ( Male condoms failure rates are 2 percent for perfect use and 17 percent for typical). This is a small discrepancy, yet pulling out has the reputation of being a risky method, while condoms are the widely accepted standard of sexual responsibility. Most of the medical professionals I spoke to concerning this topic were more inclined towards the withdrawal method but are afraid to openly declare it.


“There’s definitely a stigma among many educators and medical providers,” asserts Aida Manduley, queer sexuality educator and executive committee member at the Women of Color Sexual Health Network. part of this generally established assumption is that the method isn’t quite effective. Old assertion is always hard to dismantle, and no one wants to be the one who is seen as the advocate of unwanted pregnancy. Even when established statistics openly place withdrawal at par with other forms of birth control, as in a recent Marie Claire article, the tactic is termed as- you can guess-“super risky” and not a method as much as “better than nothing”.
Manduley also credits medical professional’s resistance to withdrawal is tied to STIs and notes that HIV “can be much scarier and permanent than a pregnancy.”Rachel Jones, principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute and contributor to two important studies about withdrawal, confirms there’s a view that “young people especially should be using condoms every time they have sex, and saying anything positive about withdrawal will discourage that.”
However, pull out method is disregarded when pregnancy is the only point of discussion,too. Works on the topic tend to direct readers attention towards hormonal options and IUDs while ignoring the chances of success involving pulling out method– this implies that there is more to this than just STI and old fashioned doctrines
Business interest on the hand play a part in this assumption. Producers of condoms, hormonal birth control, and implantation devices are FDA-required and commercially incentive to perform numerous studies on the validity of their products. As it seems no one will benefit from pulling out, so getting more funding to validate and test the usefulness for pulling out method is difficult. Furthermore no one will benefit from promoting the use of withdrawal research that are on ground already. Those who advocate for its use risk being censured.
Also there is the tendency for people to people to view men as lust-mad maniac due to the way society as portrayed them. Terms like unreliability and untrustworthiness are often cited as the biggest problems when it comes to pulling out method of contraception: it is assumed that it gives the man too much control; he can’t do that when it’s the time; he might get carried away as it might be hard to.

However using the withdrawal method might be the best option at the early-stage of a relationship and in one night stands because of health issues. Manduley agrees with this as she asserts that the might “not be the top recommended method for folks just starting out their sexual journeys,” but this does not any way stop couples who seek to adopt this method on a long term even though it may not be the case others. Rachel Jones supports this assertion in an incisive article on anti-withdrawal attitudes, “Some women may not be comfortable depending on their partners to pull out before ejaculating, and some men may not be able to do it, [but] that does not mean we should promote a false view of the method’s effectiveness.”
Even women who have used the withdrawal method and we’re successful at it were still compelled to denounce the method as risky and irresponsible when I spoke with them. Some who have never conceived joked that they may be infertile, this shows the level of distrust of the pulling out method even by those who have tried it in the past. This does not in anyway reduce the effectiveness of pulling out method as Haley enjoyed five-and-a-half years of non-pregnancy followed by an intentional conception but she even her hesitant to extol this methodor even admit she used it. According to her “I was scared to mention to friends for fear I would be shamed and ridiculed,” she says. “I still don’t know if it was stupid or not.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 1.11.29 PM
The stigma surrounding the pull out method is also down to woman to woman sexism, which tends to blame cases on unintended conceptions is down to the failure of the woman who is pregnant. But the idea that a woman might be too “unbothered”. With a valid means of birth control is totally wrong. A research study conducted by Jones shows that a lot of women use birth control alongside other like condoms and birth control. Researchers told RH Reality check, “There is a reputation of withdrawal users as being lazy,” one of the other researchers told RH Reality Check, “but at least in this sample they seem to be extra motivated to prevent pregnancy or uneducated.” This was confirmed casually in my conversations. The women I spoke and who used pulling out were incredibly thoughtful, capable, and savvy. They both made plans in case they got pregnant as one kept an emergency abortion fund; another already had a plan to fly out of her southern state to a different region should an abortion be necessary. This is in line of the fact that they didn’t want to use the other methods which they weren’t comfortable with.

Social mores, as usual, aren’t able to fully control the way people have sex, and a majority of cis, heterosexual adults have at least tried withdrawal, even if not regularly relied upon it. It’s easy to see why: It’s always available, costs nothing, aggravates no allergies, presents little barrier to pleasure, and has no negative side effects. Given how adversely many forms of female-focused birth control affect those using them, this last point is a considerable advantage. Our cultural tendency is to ignore the numerous, well-established, and uncontested negative effects of hormonal birth control, which include severe mood swings, decreased or eliminated sex drive, and tripled or even quadrupled risk of developing blood clots. This complacent attitude persists despite recent media attention paid to lawsuits against the oral contraceptive Yaz and hormonal patch Ortho Evra. Treating these potentially serious consequences as undesirable but unavoidable indicates a belief that women’s mental, emotional, and physical health will necessarily be compromised in their pursuit to remain un-impregnated—an ugly notion that is far from fact.
This also fails to highlight the fact that no other form of birth control( not even tubal ligation) is entirely risk free. Jones’s opinion about this quite educative as he points out that medical “have no problem advocating the use of condoms even though those are flawed.” while Stacey who had successfully used the pullout method in a period of 13 years got pregnant when the condom her partner used broke and once while she was on the pill. Two other women also had experiences with the birth control pill which made it an option they didn’t want to explore again. Two others talked about uterine malformations that kept them from being good IUD candidates.
According to a seminal in 2009 on withdrawal method mentioned earlier, “if more people realized that correct and consistent use of withdrawal substantially reduced the risk of pregnancy, they might use it more effectively.” The quick dismissal of withdrawal as a useful birth control method is counter productive if not outright dangerous; this has not stopped it’s practice but the general accepted view that it can effective is still very strong. “We can’t assume people’s needs when choosing birth control methods, or try to foist things upon them,” Manduley says. Rather than withholding information or denying researches on this topic, “professionals should be educating folks about what’s available and helping them navigate the options.”