What if: People are infertile until 21

Let’s say on people’s 12th birthday, they are given a mandatory side-effect-free long-term contraceptive which renders them infertile until their 21st birthday (give or take a month). For simplicity’s sake, lets say this is not politically controversial.

What happens?
Does the benefits from having less teen mums outway the harm from the diseases people spread more by not using condoms.

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Lots more STDs. How could it be otherwise? Remove one extremely significant disadvantage from having unprotected sex, and people will have more of it.

Actually, though, I think my daughter (she’s 13) is in a generation where there’s no big scary STD. There are a lot about still, and she knows about them, but they seem less threatening than before, even AIDS.

Really? Herpes, Syphilis, and Chlamydia should really be giving her the willies to name but three. (Pun intended.)

Possibly, but I don’t think that the number would be as high as you assert. Education could take more time to explain the benefits of safe practices as disease control rather than “OMG! preggerz!”. You might see a higher instance of testing among young partners, and that would be a good thing. Likewise, without the issue of pregnancy, you might well see a relaxation of the more idiotic and repressive social mores.

In China, basically you are not allowed to have a child out of wedlock, and you cannot get married until 21. The consequences for this can be pretty large, and so basically anyone who finds themselves knocked up outside of marriage gets an abortion.

I don’t really think it solves a lot of social problems- they just end up manifesting in a different way.

Anyway, you can be a good parent at 19, and a shitty parent at 30. Age isn’t the real boundary as much as income stability, family environment, and maturity. It makes more sense to have an income limit, which is of course insanely problematic.

Fair enough, and frankly I agree with your sentiment, but can you think a real negative to this suggestion? A safe, reversible, and universal sterilization option would mean that there really would be no need for abortions outside of medical necessity. That should please the right wing.

Except for the fact the current right wing is also against birth control.

Only a small fraction of it. Be fair.

I assume meant this if the contraceptive were available to those over the age of 21, too?

I ask because this is the way I read that: “A safe, reversible, and universal sterilization option [for those between 12 and 21, as described in the OP] would mean that there really would be no need for abortions outside of medical necessity.” And this reading has so many problems I don’t even know where to start…

Those diseases have a lot more effective treatments now.

When I was a teenager we didn’t really think about STDs other than AIDS and usually thought we were relatively safe from that if we didn’t have sex with high-risk partners. The main worry for us teenage girls was always pregnancy; no birth control was never perfect. If we’d had perfect birth control, we’d have had a lot more sex.

I wouldn’t put a number on it, but yes, I would say that the number of teenagers having sex would be a lot higher. We kinda learnt this with the advent of the pill - and that wasn’t perfect.

Quite the contrary, gonorrhea is evolving to be resistant to antibiotics, the worry is that syphilis and chlamydia will be next. Herpes has been and still is untreatable, although there are now medications to manage it. HPV is untreatable and is now linked to cervical cancer. And HIV/AIDS is still fatal even though it now takes longer.

The rise and fall of condom use is pretty directly related to the perception that these diseases have more effective treatments. Within the gay community fear of HIV/AIDS dramatically increased condom use, right up until there was the perception that the disease wasn’t so bad any more, then condom use began to fall and the infection rate started to go back up.

I think we could easily separate the issue and teach disease prevention instead of contraception.

If you actually look at the issue, providing free contraception would be a huge assistance to lower income families, and make a massive step towards breaking the poverty cycle.

Although I’m pretty sure in reality what we’d see is a short term spike in STDs, hopefully large enough to scare people, but small enough not to kill us all.

A grotesque violation of human rights. That’d be the case even if it’s not politically controversial.

Gonorrhoea becoming more resistant to antibiotics means that there are already effective antibiotics. Yes, that might be the next big scare in the OP’s hypothesis - but it would take years.

Lots of countries, including the one I live in, have free contraception. It just doesn’t always work. This thread is about total foolproof and mandatory contraception, which is rather different.

Do you think it would be a bad thing to remove this one extremely significant disadvantage to unprotected sex? People will have more of it precisely in compensation to the fact that it is less dangerous. That seems perfectly rational to me.

Should we worry that the introduction of seatbelts into cars promotes unsafe driving?

That goes without saying, though apparently I should have!

No, gonorrhea has already developed antibiotic resistance, which means they no longer have effective antibiotics for it.

Pretty much, though the variant available to over21s only lasts a year a treatment.

I say it’s an awesome idea. I’ve often suggested something similar to this. I would do one thing that would make it even less impossible: not make it mandatory, but open it to anyone who wants it. I know people are totally against mandatory anything, but if you make it voluntary and free - maybe offer some kind of benefit to those who do take it - that should knock aside that objection.

And the birth control should not require parental consent. Too many parents will then freak out and say “BUT MY BABY WILL HAVE SEX” without thinking it through.

You’re assuming we’re good at calculating risk, which might not be the case. We all know most people have babies at some point, so that risk is easily acknowledged. But we don’t update our facebook whenever we get a new STD. So we might think that pregnancy is 75% of the risk of unprotected sex when in fact it’s closer to 50% (numbers out my arse). If frequency of unprotected sex is increased based on a deflated sense of risk from STDs, then STDs will go up more than we’re gambling with.

Did I say it was a bad thing? The OP’s question was what would the results, and I’m pretty sure increased STDs would be one.