(In case there is any doubt, the title is sarcastic).
The Moore Center of Johns Hopkins University just released an online course called "Help Wanted", aimed at people coming to terms with a sexual attraction to children. It is aimed at teens, but has elements that would be helpful to anyone. On the whole, this is a terrific resource. Virtuous Pedophiles is correctly listed as a collaborator.
I'm not inclined to make blog posts just agreeing with something, though in this case there are some aspects to this program I do approve of that I find rather subtle, so hopefully I'll get to that in later posts.
But today I focus on one particular aspect of the course that I disliked intensely. It has nothing to do with minor attraction. At this point the course has moved to the topic of pedophiles working to form relationships with peers. In a "Safe Sex" section is this entirely reasonable recommendation: "Always insist on a condom, even if your partner says they don't like condoms or assures you that they are taking birth control pills or don't have any sexually transmitted diseases."
However, they then follow this with a "Fact or fiction?" challenge:
"Sex doesn't feel as good when you wear a condom."
Their answer: "False. Studies show that women and men enjoy sex just as much with condoms as without them, so don't go along with that argument."
I find it outrageous. They don't say what studies they have in mind, but I searched and found a likely candidate: https://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-107107.html, with the title "Study shows condom usage does not decrease sexual satisfaction". But when you look inside, you see instead, "With or without a condom, Americans report to find sex satisfying." That is a much weaker claim. And this study is funded by a condom maker. If you compare answers across groups and pose the question in certain ways, I can imagine you would get a "no difference" finding.
As any scientist could tell you, controlling for extraneous variables is a key to good research, and in this case scientists are handed to them on a silver platter a much better method: Ask people who have had sex with and without a condom which they liked better. I think the results are so obvious that no one bothers to do formal studies. But for instance, https://thoughtcatalog.com/eric-redding/2015/12/like-showering-in-a-plastic-jumpsuit/.
The world is full of people who for good reasons want to encourage condom use, but the right answer stops with "Sex can be great with a condom too, and consider that part of the problem may be that you're not doing it quite right." Don't try to tell people it's just as great with a condom. For most people, it's just not true. And whenever you tell people that science has proven something they know to be just plain false, you lose credibility. You might lose all credibility. You certainly don't want to do that when you are conveying such key messages as that children cannot consent to sex with adults and abuse can be very harmful.
The generalization about satisfaction also rides roughshod over individual differences. Unless the studies showed that ALL men and women enjoyed sex just as a much with a condom, you (or your partner) might be different and know that for you personally, sex doesn't feel as good with a condom. And if there is one theme that sex education rightly emphasizes over and over, it is that people are different, and only you know what feels right for YOU.
"You need to wear a condom to protect yourself and your partner." That's based on facts and consequences, not individual preferences. "You will like sex just as much with a condom" is just very wrong, on many different levels.
The course would be greatly improved by simply removing that "Fact or fiction" item entirely.