I Want to Believe

I have become aware of my rigidity lately. Not so subtle hints of my beliefs and inflexible truths have popped up in conversations with Mike and Sergey. Both have world-views that are rather different from mine, and when either of them make a statement based on some fundamental precept of theirs that conflicts with what I consider reality, I get stuck at, "but..!"

I feel insulted when told how things are, as if the speaker is an authority and I am just an uneducated fool. Although, for the most part I am both uneducated and foolish, but if someone is going to lecture me she'd better produce her credentials. Sometimes angrily, often aggressively, I'll sharply demand justification, deduction, proof, sources, footnotes.

On Facebook the other day, a Republican friend of mine questioned impulsive assertion that Sarah Palin is insane. He said, "What makes you say that?" Pausing to think I realized I didn't have a good answer. My conclusion was based solely on clips from Sarah Palin's campaign speeches (as edited for The Daily Show), rancid headlines about her poor knowledge of geography, the amount of money spent on clothing during the presidential campaign and endless jokes about all the newspapers she reads. That is, I had nothing solid, just snippets of other people's truths.

I considered reading some transcripts of speeches to build up a case, but I decided it was too much work, but I did made a mental note to avoid weighing in on Sarah Palin's mental health. Suddenly the bandwagon seemed crowded with dolts.

Mike stated a while back that interrupted sex, where the guy pulls out before ejaculating, if done properly is as successful in preventing pregnancy as an IUD. That sounded ridiculous to me. I dismissed it with flair and he good-naturedly insisted, and I decided it was wishful thinking on his part,  like people who choose to believe in alternate medicine even when there is nothing backing it but some charismatic dude with all the answers.

Contraception Failure Rates according to Wikipedia (and the insert for my sponges and female condoms):
Birth Control Method Failure Rate Typical Use Failure Rate Perfect Use
Copper IUD 0.8% 0.6%
Male Condom 15% 2%
Withdrawal Method 27% 4%
Female Condom 21% 5%
Sponge 16% 9%
Although withdrawal is nowhere near as safe as an UID it's not nearly as bad with perfect use as I though. Perfect is defined as actually pulling out every time before ejaculating. The effect of the much maligned pre-cum seems a bit overblown.

Now, as a female I am not comfortable trusting that the guy will actually take responsibility and pull out, and clearly the typical use column supports my cynicism. But Mike was more right than I expected.

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