Saturday, January 03, 2009

Celibate men in dresses say dumb things about sex

Ah well, the Roman Catholic Church is always good for a laugh. This week they've come out swinging against the pill. It's deliriously silly.

The pill "has for some years had devastating effects on the environment by releasing tonnes of hormones into nature" through female urine, said Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, in the report.

"We have sufficient evidence to state that a non-negligible cause of male infertility in the West is the environmental pollution caused by the pill," he said, without elaborating further.

For real, you can't make this stuff up!

Remember, the official position of the Church is basically that they don't want you to have sex at all, unless you're married Catholics trying to make little Catholics, or...well...we know what the other criterion is.


  1. So, does that mean if we start putting birth control pills into the water supply of Muslim countries, we can shrink their populations?

  2. Why does the Catholic Church want there to be more children? Hmm?

    Wait...wait...don't tell me.

  3. It sounds a little crazy coming from the catholics, I'll grant, but hormone effluents in municipal water supplies actually are a non-negligible environmental concern. They're very small molecules, which makes them hard to filter, and the fact that we share many biochemical similarities with other vertebrates means that the hormones can have averse effects on fish or marine mammals where concentrations are high enough.

    Much of this seems to be based around Karen Kidd's research. I don't know if she has an anti-contraceptive agenda, but based on my understanding of hormones and urban pollutants, the idea that these pharmaceuticals could have a negative impact on the health of the ecosystems seems entirely plausible.

  4. Ditto StridentLobster...

    I agree with you that the catholic church has an arsenal of wacky stuff, but this one actually has scientific proof. Fish have been shown to have lower 'libido' because of the high levels of female hormones (progesterone, i think) in the water. Because these hormones do not degrade when dumped into rivers and such from sewage, they effect the fish in those areas. Strange, but true. I myself do not advocate taking the pill as a women. I find it to be very disruptive to the female cycle causing weight gain, nausea and many health risks not worth taking. It also can make it very difficult to conceive if a women has been on the pill for an extended period of time because it essentially tricks the female body into thinking it is perpetually pregnant. It is, however a personal choice. It would be interesting to see if the DNR comes up with a solid argument against its use because of the devastating effect on wildlife in rivers.

  5. I get the pollution issue of our waterways and drinking supply by modern pharmaceutical you environmentally conscious folks have posted about here -- but the Vatican is actually claiming a connection between such pollution and human (not fish) male infertility. Is there any science behind this claim, in particular? It seems to be speculative, rather than evidence based, at this moment in time, no? A fish being a very different kind of animal than a primate and all...

  6. Theoretically, it's quite possible, given that these are human hormones in the first place. There are issues of concentration, exposure levels, and the like, that do still make it more speculation than fact at the moment. The only published work I've seen done on this issue has been done on fish, and that in very controlled conditions.

    Even if it doesn't have any immediate human effects in line with the Catholic scaremongering, however, we should rightly be concerned about the health of our waterways. After all, no god is gonna step off his cloud to clean them out for us, or multiply our fishes. (Or loaves, for that matter.) We do have a responsibility to our distantly related kin, after all.

    Honestly, I don't have the first clue how to resolve this. I'm of course in favour of birth control; I think the case could be argued that the environmental impact due to pharmaceutical leaching is probably less than that of all the little rugrats who'd be screaming around otherwise, contributing to overpopulation and spewing CO2 like the good Westerners they'd be. Sadly, the research is lagging behind the problem.

  7. Remember, these are the same people who claim that abortions cause breast cancer.

    I don't have the first clue how to resolve this. I'm of course in favour of birth control; I think the case could be argued

    Possibly proper sex education, introduction to multiple methods of birth control, and more research on more advanced birth control methods.

    Oh...and keep religion out of the whole process.

  8. StridentLobster, thanks for the confirmation, and, of course, you are absolutely right.

    The fact that the Church rightfully draws attention to this unfolding environmental concern is a good thing too. However, the fact that they do it through exploitation as part of a campaign to justify their own stupid and immoral beliefs regarding birth-control merely exposes their twisted sense of priorities too. Your greater point, though, is well put.

  9. The only published work I've seen done on this issue has been done on fish, and that in very controlled conditions.

    Well, there you go. The RCC is claiming there have been proven deleterious effects on male fertility. Clearly this isn't true, even if there is some scientific validity to the idea that hormones released into the water can have some kind of damaging effect. The specific damaging effect they claim is not real.

    There are all kinds of crap that we've spilled into rivers and oceans that have caused damage to our ecosystem. No one disputes that point.

    But remember what the RCC's agenda is here: to stamp out people doing the nasty outside the bounds of Church-sanctioned matrimony. Frankly the Church gives a shit about the environment, except in the way they can exploit environmental concerns to push a specific social-engineering ideology of theirs. I can see someone at the Vatican now: "Hey, everybody's talking about 'green' this and 'green' that. I have an idea..."

  10. Sounds like something you could put on a t-shirt: Catholic Priests: Celibate men in dresses saying dumb things about sex!

  11. Reynold, how about this one?

    Going to a celibate priest for advice on sex is like asking an Amish man for advice on automobile maintenance.

  12. Correct me if I am wrong, but when pregnant women (very frequently) go to the bathroom they dump a lot more hormones then when they are not. Even a follicle stimulating hormone can be destilled from pregnant womens urine.


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