Everybody’s Out to Get Them Young
We’re rightly wary when credit card companies target college kids. (I’m still smarting from the puncture that I received in the bull’s-eye.) So why is the New York Times treating it as some kind of a rights story that pharmaceutical companies are no longer targeting young women with discounted birth control?
The change is due to a provision in a federal law that ended a practice by which drug manufacturers provided prescription contraception to the health centers at deeply discounted rates. The centers then passed along the savings to students and others. …
Some college clinics have reported sudden drops in the numbers of contraceptives sold; students have reported switching to less expensive contraceptives or considering alternatives like the so-called morning-after pill; and some clinics, including one at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., have stopped stocking some prescription contraceptives, saying they are too expensive.
Attempting to argue the contrary, one affected student illustrates the error in thinking that easy access to contraceptives doesn’t encourage kids to have sex:
“The potential is that women will stop taking it, and whether or not you can pay for it, that doesn’t mean that you’ll stop having sex,” said Katie Ryan, a senior at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, who said that the monthly cost of her Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, a popular birth control pill, recently jumped to nearly $50 from $12.
Ms. Ryan, 22, said she had considered switching to another contraceptive to save money, but was unsure which one to pick. She has ended up paying the higher price, but said she was concerned about her budget.
“I do less because of this — less shopping, less going out to eat,” said Ms. Ryan, who has helped organize efforts to educate others on campus about the price jump. “For students, this is very, very expensive.”
What Katie inadvertently highlights, here, is that — although sex is just another activity for which one must make sacrifices and balance desires — kids have the impression that sex can’t be avoided. A dramatic increase in the price of antacids obviously won’t stop people from eating, but it may affect their dietary choices. Why should our society treat sex as if it is less amenable to self-control than eating?
I’d suggest to young Americans that they take a moment to consider who has an interest in encouraging a loose addiction to sex. The entertainment industry, the advertising industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and (yes) the abortion industry all stand to gain financially from a broad impression among the Ms. Ryans of the country that closing their legs is simply too difficult a feat of self mastery.