The misguided belief that casual sex is harmless as long as contraception is readily available has been disastrous for society’s poorest, a commentator has warned.
Handing out condoms to youngsters doesn’t work, says The Daily Telegraph’s Ed West, because “it simply normalises the behaviour that leads to teenage pregnancies”.
Widely available contraception has given the impression that fertility can be completely controlled, when in fact it “still requires discipline, care, health and luck”, Mr West argues.
“It’s that sort of luck that the poor can’t afford to depend on”, he says.
“Too often the Summer of Love is followed by the spring of single parenthood”.
Comparing teenage pregnancy to other social problems, Mr West points out “if you make usury more easily available, more people will get in debt.
“Likewise if you make drink more available you will get more alcoholics, and if you make gambling easier more people will become gambling addicts.”
Although the effects of casual sex can be more random, he says, “one thing’s for certain – if you promote casual sex among children as the norm, rather than an aberration, then more accidents will happen.
“That’s why the government policy of promoting casual, protected sex is not working.”
Mr West says the sexual revolution and advent of the contraceptive pill was “a middle-class affair”.
He says “the baby boomer generation were the wealthiest in history and believed sexual prudery was no longer necessary, and my generation were brought up thinking it was an outdated superstition.
“We’re now realising that there were some very good reasons for it.”
He concludes: “For the poor, the sexual revolution was a disaster.
“And they will continue to suffer while idiotic government officials stalk the council estates of England handing out condoms.”