…getting pleasure from reading
“When Marriage Raises AIDS Rates” (“Investigations,”
February/03) implies that the use of the condom is an
answer to the AIDS epidemic sweeping sub-Saharan Africa.
In the quality-control manufacture
of condoms, voids of five microns in diameter are allowed,
small enough to block the passage of human sperm. The
AIDS virus is only one-tenth of a micron in diameter,
50 times smaller than the allowable void. Condom users
may be lucky enough to have a condom with voids in the
wrong places for transmission, but who wants to take that
chance with a scourge like AIDS? Will they be that lucky
with every condom?
Dependence on the condom may be a principle
factor in the spread of AIDS.
Robert H. Doane, AB’39
Wood Dale, Illinois
The Magazine has been especially
interesting and insightful the past couple issues, but
when I got to “When Marriage Raises AIDS Rates,”
I could not help but reflect on a researcher’s comment
at a seminar I recently attended on an unrelated subject:
“bad science.” His point was this: sometimes
a prior agenda gets in the way of discovering the truth
and acting accordingly.
Although I myself have not done the
science, logic informs us that marriage (or at least Biblical
covenant marriage) does not aid and abet the spread of
AIDS. To suggest otherwise is bad science. Good science
will distinguish between cause and effect versus symptoms.
I would agree that the parents have
the right idea for their daughters, but it appears that
they do not have the same right idea for the males. The
failure of marriage to counter AIDS, as noted in the article,
is likely due to people’s behavior outside marriage.
The failure is probably rooted in cultural norms and inadequate
understanding that allows AIDS to prosper.
Sex is a normal function of the body
that can and must be administered by the mind. Society
has a big role to play to help ensure that individuals
recognize their responsibilities as well as their freedoms.
Overemphasis on sex, without the consequences, has its
Mike Kinkley, MBA’78