December 12, 1980

Whatever Happened to Chastity?

Author Affiliations

McKay-Dee Family Practice Center University of Utah College of Medicine Ogden

JAMA. 1980;244(23):2607. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310230013007

To the Editor.—  A voice of opposition needs to be heard. Although Yehudi Felman, MD (1979;241:2517), documents the alarming extent of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and teenage pregnancy, one of his proposed solutions is offensive to me both as parent and physician. Felman proposes widespread condom advertisements in newspapers, magazines, and television. He suggests that organized medicine and public health officials exert pressure on the media to reverse the policy of not considering condom use suitable for public advertising. Felman also speaks for an emphasis on the condom's contraceptive value in the public school sex education curriculum. Bergman supports this plea, suggesting that a few choice spots on Monday-night football would really get the message across.I do not refute the efficacy of the condom, but I am appalled at the willingness of medical professionals to accept promiscuous sexual conduct—and even to promote it. Media advertising must influence behaviors somewhat.