Volume 95, Issue 30

Thursday, October 25, 2001
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Tories shut out student media

The world at war

Protest group miffed

Muslims outraged by poster vandalism

Sex for money: all in the name of science

Picket 101: 'Toba profs on strike

Ivey program ranks 15th

News Briefs

Sex for money: all in the name of science

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

Toronto is paying women to have sex and it doesn't involve hanging out on Jarvis Street.

The City of Toronto's health department is looking for 200 women between ages 19 and 45 to participate in a female condom research study, said Barbara Macpherson, health education consultant with the city's AIDS and sexual health department.

"We're not trying to convince women to switch over [from more traditional methods of birth control], just to try something new," Macpherson said. "We want women to be aware of their options for protection."

Volunteers attend three sessions, which include education, counselling and a confidential survey. The participants are paid $25 per visit and each woman must provide their own partner, she said.

If results of the study are positive, Toronto may begin bulk handouts of female condoms, she added.

Dawn Sundercock, health education co-ordinator at Western's Student Health Services said, according to literature she has read, the female condom is comparable in effectiveness to the male condom as a method of birth control.

However, she suggests combining methods of protection, such as lubricant and a condom.

Sundercock said the female condom has not gained popularity due to its high price and females' lack of knowledge about it.

One of the advantages of the female condom is that it can be inserted up to eight hours before sex and, therefore, "doesn't spoil the moment," Sundercock said.

Some people may also be allergic to latex, so the polyurethane female condom presents a viable alternative, she added.

Macpherson also noted the female condom puts the power of protection in the female's hands, especially in a situation in which the male refuses to wear a condom.

Western's Women's Issues Network co-ordinator Nicole Nelson did not agree with Macpherson's statement.

"This is not a positive message. If a couple doesn't share equal responsibility for protection and can't communicate about it, they shouldn't be having sex in the first place."

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Copyright The Gazette 2001