Earlier this week, the humor blog Cracked put up a scholarly and hilarious top ten list of History's Most Terrifying Contraceptives. These pre-modern, no-baby devices ran the gamut from diaphragms made out of opium...to diaphragms made out of crocodile dung. There were also diaphragms made out of silver, gold, and lemons, and condoms made out of animal intestines — and then there were the post-sex pregnancy remedies of ingesting blacksmith water, and the pre-sex preventative measure of eating weasel testicles. In some ways, these contraceptive methods sound completely absurd: who in the world would think douching with Coca-Cola prevents babies? But then you remember that when you were 12, you really did believe that Mountain Dew lowered a guy's sperm count.
In fact, in 1999, the Wall Street Journal devoted an entire article to the widely-disseminated rumor that Mountain Dew is bad for the balls. The Journal interviewed one Kristen Haynes, then 16, from Washington, D.C., who had heard that Mountain Dew lowers the sperm count, but only if you drink more than 24 ounces a day. Kristen heard that sperm count was lowered "By one or two points for every 24 ounces you drink, basically. A lot of guys at school were very worried about it. They were worried that by the time they were ready to have children, they would not get their partner pregnant." The people at Kristen's school were not so bright: She also told the Journal that one of her 13-year-old classmates would give her boyfriend a pack of Mountain Dew before they had sex, and "That's the only kind of birth control she ever said she used."
Other contraceptive myths beyond the Dew you might have once believed include: you can't get pregnant if the girl's on top (it's gravity!); you can't get pregnant if you have sex in a Jacuzzi; if you have sex for fifteen minutes, you get pregnant and if you have sex for thirty minutes, you get knocked up with twins. In a country where abstinence education runs swiftly across this country like Route 66, what kind of contraceptive disinformation did you hear as a kid?
History's 10 Most Terrifying Contraceptives [Cracked]
Why Mountain Dew Is Now the Talk Of the Teen Circuit [Wall Street Journal — unavailable online]
Related: History's Most Terrifying Contraceptives [Babble]
Ask The Experts: Does Drinking Mountain Dew Lower A Guy's Sperm Count? [TeenWire]