Ex Buenos Aires governor and former presidential hopeful, Daniel Scioli, stated in an interview with Marcelo Zlotogwiazda on his program C5N, that he believes the Argentine public is having less sex because of a failing economy.
Mildly creepy? Yes. Remotely Logical? Not unless you confuse correlation for causation. Scioli’s thinking behind this rather invasive sounding claim, is that since condom sales have gone down by 15%, the economic crisis must be impacting self esteem at a societal level, leading people to be less willing to get down and dirty.
“When there is economic depression, there is mental depression. And this decreases incentive. People, when they get depressed, are more vulnerable. A level of de-motivation is generated in every sense.” Scioli stated, adding to his series of enlightening claims.
Let’s unpack this a little
Data on condom sales is not always strong indicator of the level of actual condom use. The BMC (BioMed Central) used data from six demographic and health surveys in an attempt to discover whether there was a way to monitor the progress of HIV prevention through the distribution and sale of condoms. What they found, was that the patterns in the relationship between the estimated number of sexual acts and the number of condoms used, were far too erratic and no estimation method dependable enough to mean a reliable or definitive correlation between the two.
Taking this idea even further, looking at statistics closer to home, a study conducted by the United Nations Development Program (UNPD) found that the teen pregnancy rate in Argentina is considerably high when compared to that of other countries with similar socioeconomic profiles throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Most would probably agree that teen pregnancy rates may correlate with actual sexual intercourse taking place, and who knows maybe with the right about of research some viable economic data might even be able to be extracted but we don’t want to put a damper on such a strong argument with boring statistics or actual facts.
This is not to say that there isn’t a correlation between condom pricing and the number of condoms that end up actually getting purchased. One might want to look at the idea that the pricier the condoms, the fewer people buy.