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All the nice girls love a sailor….

April 21st, 2005

Dr Petra

….and many nice boys feel the same way too.

That’s why the US Navy is advocating condom use to reduce unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Whilst the Bush administration continues to be resolutely abstinence-focused in their approach to sex, the Navy has taken a more realistic stance.

This is partly due to concerns over HIV rates in service men and women. 5,000 have been infected since 1985 at a cost of $6 million per year. Nearly 70% of all enlisted pregnancies are unplanned, adding to the balance sheet at a cost of $3,200 per pregnancy.

The Navy argues they’re not encouraging promiscuity. Their plan is to increase sexual health knowledge, including how to access and use condoms effectively.

The initiative is attempting to de-stigmatise condoms by making them one of the many forms of protective gear provided to naval staff, alongside things like earplugs or thermal clothing. And available regardless of whether personnel are straight, gay or bi.

Whilst Marines will still be encouraged to think about being faithful to their partners or abstaining from sex during shore leave, the Navy accepts this may not always happen, and wish to encourage condom use to protect personnel and those they come into contact with.

Recent research on servicemen suggests that programmes that promote effective condom use, as well as encouraging personnel to think about the consequences unprotected sex might bring, has led to them taking fewer sexual health risks.

Sounds like it’s time to follow the fleet!

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