Friday, February 19, 2010

I Swear it Doesn't Fit

The Kinsey Institute has just come out with a survey that found 47% of men report that the average condom does not fit them properly. They complained of breakage, slippage, discomfort, and irritation. Because the traditional one-size-fits-most condom is apparently causing issues, the Kinsey Institute suggests that condom companies make multiple sized condoms. But of course men won't want to admit to having a "small" penis so they suggest companies should re-brand their sizes so a small would be called a large, a medium would be called a extra-large, and so on. This size inflation would encourage males to buy the proper sized condom for their size.

This stroking of men's egos corresponds to my response to this years Superbowl ads and other media that suggested masculinity was being threatened.

I don't understand why we need to keep feeding men reassurance that they are an acceptable size when women are constantly under scrutiny for our size. Stores that primarily market towards young women have the tendency to inflate their sizes but it seems to have the opposite effect than inflating condom sizes. From personal experience, it is annoying to go into Forever 21 or American Eagle and try on what you think is your size to find out you are actually 2+ sizes up. It doesn't make sense to me why clothing companies would want to inflate their sizes to make women feel bigger than they are. If women feel good about their bodies aren't they more likely to buy clothes?

So why is it our goal to make men feel good about themselves while women are made to feel bad about themselves?

1 comment:

Amy said...

I agree completely with the clothing sizes issue. Beyond body image issues, it's just frustrating to have to grab 3 sizes of something at a new store because I don't know which one will actually fit me.

But for the condoms, I think the Kinsey Institute hits the marker. Men will still buy the XL condoms, whether they fit or not. The condom companies don't give a crap about men getting the right size. But they should, because we're talking about people's health and safety here. The condom companies (and RH advocates everywhere!) should encourage men to not only use condoms, but use the appropriate ones in the correct manner.

Women and girls' satisfaction in shopping for jeans is not as important as protecting men and women from STIs and unintended pregnancy.

(Note: I mean my comment with respect. I love the blog, and cheers for finding this issue. I just thought it was another perspective on the issue.)