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August 13, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-08-13

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4 4h aD'tt
420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual
opinions of the author This must be noted in all reprints.
Friday, August 13, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552

sex information
The diff

ferent rhythms

Behind the battle
WHILE THE WAR - and it is a war - drags on in
Northern Ireland, comparatively little attention is
drawn by the bare facts that explain the confrontation
beween Protestant and Catholic.
The mass media are notorious vultures, preferring to
detail the excitement - however terrible - of battle and
destruction, rather than attempt to understand the caus-
es and suggest the way to achieve a reconciliation.
That has been the case with the newest outbreak in
Northern Ireland. Reports of rioting allude to "demands
of the Catholic minority," but go no further.
Such language is entirely misleading because the
Catholics are not a small "minority" - and that is what
the word implies. There are over half a million Catholics
in Northern Ireland ,and 850,000 Protestants. And among
people under 18 years old, more than half are Catholic,
the Protestant majority is slipping towards near equality.
WHERE CATHOLICS are a minority is in government.
Catholic power has been squelched by a system that
makes property-owning the basis for suffrage. It is the
Protestants who have economic control of Ulster, a
strength that goes back to English rule of the entire
island, so Catholics are less likely to qualify to vote.
Gerrymandering does the rest to ensure Protestant con-
As a result, Catholics hold less than 10 per cent of the
governmental jobs in Northern Ireland. In one city, with
a Catholic majority in numbers, there are only enough
voters to elect 8 out of 20 city councilmen; city jobs,
public housing, and other benefits go to Protestants.
Documentation of the economic and political oppres-
sion of the Catholics can go on and on. It was only a few
years ago, however, that Catholics began to organize to
demand their rights, like universal suffrage, equal elec-
tion districting, and basic civil rights granted to other
British citizens.
THE PROTESTANTS reacted with fear, reluctant to
make any but token reforms. In the frustration and
anger, the violence has escalated. The British army has
been sent in to protect the Protestant hegemony with its
superior arms and training.
Ironically, Britain was responsible for the entire sit-
uation. When Ireland won its independence, Britain re-
tained six of the nine counties of Ulster to save face
and to protect Protestant business interests. The six
counties were chosen purposely to produce a Protestant
majority; the three most heavily Catholic counties were
left to Ireland.
Britain could act now to force improvement of the
condition of the Catholics, since Britain controls the vital
armed forces.
Such a move would be prudent for Britain, because
the British Army does not want to fight in Northern
Ireland. Many of soldiers are Catholics. The war can only
demoralize the British forces.
Prime Minister Heath, however, is reportedly deter-
mined to stop the resistance by force rather than impose
a political settlement. He apparently has drawn no les-
sons from the failures of other leaders trying to fight
with unwilling armies in foreign countries - and Ireland
is not Britain, but a very different culture.
AND AS THE FIGHTING continues, the Catholics will
become even more alienated from Britain. What
might have begun as a civil rights movement of an op-
pressed people is becoming - if it has not already be-
come - a movement to oust the British and return all
of Ulster to Irish rule.
The Protestants, who still hold a numerical major-
ity, will fight that in every way they can. The situation
can only get worse.
Perhaps it is too late for Britain to force granting of
civil rights to the Catholics, but the effort is worth
making. The warfare might subside as the Catholics gain-
ed more control of their own lives.
Otherwise, there will be a tremendous price to pay,
with perhaps every Catholic either dead or a refugee in
Ireland, and a Protestant majority holding on at a great
loss to a shell of a country. It is time for other countries
- and their citizens - to start pressing for a fair settle-

(EDITOR'S NOTE: T h i sregular
quoestiono- and -aswnercolumno
matters of sexual concern isbeing
published in co-operation w i t h
Counseling services, a division of
the Office of Stoudeot Services.
Question.s may he"sest toBo x
25, The Daily, 4?3 Maynard, or
phoned into 76-GUIDE, the Coun-
eling Services' regular 24 - hour
counseling and referral service.)
Q. In my opinion, your t o 1-
umns have been excellent. Are you
an M.D. or just a well informed
A. Well, I'm not an M.D., but
on the other hand, I like to think
of myself as more than just a
reporter. If you're interested,
here's how I work:
I take questions that come in
and go to an appropriate source
for the answer (book, doctor,
population planning expert, my
experience, whatever is appro-
I answer the question to my
own satisfaction, going on until I
feel I really understand what I'm
talking about. Then I write up a
But I'm not done yet. I take my
answer to an expert - M.D. or
otherwise - or two and have
them go over it with me. They
point out my misunderstandings,
suggest changes and generally
just check for simple accuracy.
When an answer has success-
fully passed their scrutiny, I
print it. And here it is.
Q. I've heard that there's some
kind of foolproof rhythm method
(of contraception) now that has
something to do with taking your
temperature every day. How does
it work?
A. It doesn't exist.
There's no such thing as a fool-
proof rhythm method. There are,
however. more and less effective
ways of calculating when inter-
course should be safe - and one
of them does involve daily tem-
perature readings.
Before I go into that, I want to
point out that the rhythm meth-
od, used alone, is not an effective
means of contraception. The fail-
ure rates are very high - only a
little better according to some
studies than not taking any pre-
cautions at all.
It can be useful when used in
conjunction with other contra-
ceptive methods (condom, vaginal
soermicides, diaphragm, etc.). But
the only reason a couple should
ever rely on rhythm alone is if
they have moral or religious prin-
ciples about other forms of con-
traception that override their con-
cern about unwanted pregnancy.
THE WHOLE IDEA of a rhy-
thm method of contraception is
based on the fact that pregnancy
con not occur unless an egg is
fertilized - and that fertilization
can not take place unless an egg
s alive and available to sperm. So,
the story goes. all you have to do
is figure out when the egg first be-
comes available and how long it
stays alive, and refrain from in-

tercourse between the two events.
Simple, huh? The trouble is, it
can't be done accurately. Sperm
stay alive in a woman's body for
about 48 hours or longer after in-
tercourse. Therefore a woman
must start abstaining two days
before she ovulates.
Now, it's possible to predict
when a woman will ovulate dur-
ing each cycle, but human bodies
have the 'distressing habit of re-
fusing to perform as expected.
Every once in a while (rarely, but
it happens) a woman will ovulate
during her menstrual period -
the safest time ever, according to
proponents of the rhythm meth-
The state of a. woman's mind
can also alter the time of ovula-
tion significantly. An emotional
upset can either delay it or, it
seems, bring it on earlier than
anticipated. There are even in-
dications that some women a r e
"reflex ovulators" - that is, they
ovulate in response to intercourse,
as do other mammals.
when a woman has just ovulated,
because hormones released at the
time of ovulation cause slight but
measurable changes in the body.
These include a change in t h e
chemical composition of vaginal
fluids, a change in the consistency
of the cervical mucus and a slight
rise in body temperature-
The mucus, which appears at
the opening of the vagina, starts
at the beginning of the men-
strual cycle as a thick, sticky,
cloudy cord which passes out of
the vagina.
During the next days the mucus
becomes more abundant, clearer
and more watery. At the time of
ovulation it is most abtndant and
can be stretched out into a thread
uo to ten inches long before it
will break. After ovulation it gets
thicker again.
Sometimes this change - and,
in fact, all changes having to do
with ovulation - can only be de-
tected by a physician or other ex-
pert. Sometimes, in fact, they
-an't be accurately detected at all.
By keeping careful track of
tiny (half a degree) changes in
body temperature a woman can
tell pretty accurately when she
has ovulated. Since an o v u m
(egg) remains alive and available
for only 24 hours or so, a wo-
man can abstain from intercourse
until a day or two after she ovu-
lates and be fairly confident that
she won't ovulate again during
that cycle.
too. Attemots to pinpoint the re-
lationshfo between the rise in
body temnerature and the exact
t me of ovulation show that the
rise can occur anywhere from one
to three days after ovulation. Al-
so, any disease or infection may
cause changes in the body tem-
I could go on with the dis-
idvanta-es - sperm have been
known, in some cases, to remain

alive and viable for up to a week
inside a woman's body, etc. etc.
Suffice it to say that this is not
a very effective means of contra-
ception. The failure rate per hun-
dred woman years can be as low
as six or as high as thirty - de-
pending on the skill and motiva-
tion of the users (and perhaps
the bias of the researchers.)
This is a method that should
not be used by women who must
not become pregnant - whether
for reasons of health, finance,
conscience, or whatever. It should
also not be used by women whd
have irregular cycles, especially
if they're irregular for any of the
following reasons: age (under 22
or approaching menopause) re-
cent pregnancy, breastfeeding, or
emotional problems. It also should
not be used if your, shortest cy-
cle is shorter than 21 days or It
varies more than 10- days. If you
want it to work well, you shouldn't
attempt it without guidance from
a doctor or family planning coun-
Anyway, here's how:
a record of your menstrual cycle
for at least six months, preferably
longer. Counting the first day of
menstrual flow as day one, re-
cord the length of each cycle. Cal-
culate the unsafe period by sub-
tracting eighteen from the length
of the shortest cycle - this is the
first unsafe day. Subtract eleven
from the length of the longest cy-
cle - this is the last unsafe day.
You must abstain from intercourse
from the first to the last unsafe
It can't be overemphasized that
the unsafe period is different in
different women. There's no set
formula that works for everyone.
You MUST chart your cycles for
at LEAST six months if you want
the method to be effective at all.
(Yes, I'm finally answering t h e
question - you didn't think I'd
make it, did you?) Keep a record
of your basal body temperature
every day for at least six cycles.
This involves taking your temp-
erature with a special, finely
graded thermometer (preferably
rectally) every morning before you
get out of bed. And before you
smoke, have anything to drink or
even move around very much.
Note any other factors - a cold,
maybe - which might affect the
temperature during this period. At
the time of ovulation a slight rise
In temperatureyshould be noted
during every cycle. The unsafe
period begins on the fifth day
from the start of menstrual bleed-
ing and lasts until three to five
days after the temperature rise.
Don't have intercourse during this
The first unsafe day is calculat-
ed by the calendar method, and
the last by the temperature meth-
od. This shortens the unsafe per-
iod some and is almost as ef-



Letters to The Daily

To The Daily:
article concerning Peter Andrews,
I was left puzzling over a multi-
tude of questions. Specifically,
how much is the University pay-
ing Andrews to merely facilitate
the booking of rock and blues
groups? Why, if Andrews was hir-
ed last December, haven't t h e
people of Ann Arbor been inform-
ed of this action until eight
months later? How can the Uni-
versity afford to pay Andrews to
book groups, and yet cannot af-
ford the conflict resolution center
and has continuously raised tui-
tion and room and board?
Certainly Daily reporters can at
least inform the public on these
vital questions, even if they are
outraged at the University's prior-;
ities, and the ludricrous waste of

funds used to hire Andrews.
-Katie Koffel
Aug. 11
To The Daily:
TEN BILLION dollars a bush-
When I was a 15-year-old, I set
the alarm clock for 4 a.m., fed
the old mare, hitched up to my
wagon load of ten bushels of rad-
ishes and rattled over the stony
streets to the City Market, put
the horse in a stable nearby, and,
(if I was lucky), sold the rad-
ishes to the grocery men for one
dollar a bushel.
There were 12 radishes in a
bunch, 12 dozen bunches _in a
bushel. Ten or fifteen dollars for
my load was a big deal. Then I
would hitch up, drive back to the
farm and get up the next day's

Now moon rocks cost ten billion
dollars a bushel.
Times have changed, and you
can't eat moon rocks.
(One man's opinion) Earth
rocks are just as good as moon
Extravagance: The U.S. owes
400 billion dollars, pays 18 bil-
lion dollars interest annually, and
is going another 20 billion dol-
lars in the hole this year in its
inflated balloon. Shouldn't owe
a dime!
-Ernie Sheffield
Minneapolis, Minn.
The Editorial Page of The
Michigan Daily is open to any-
one who wishes to submit
articles. Generally speaking, all
articles should be less than
1,000 words.

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