LETTER : Not so casual encounters

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Elisabeth Winkler's article "Night of the gene hunter" (Real Life, 28 April) wildly exaggerates the "threat" alleged gene hunters pose to men. She offers no statistical assessment of the number of women who "trick" men into unprotected sex to acquire their sperm, but implies the problem is pervasive and increasing. Another article in the same edition, however, notes that fewer than 7 per cent of women in most ethnic groups in this country who bear children give birth out of wedlock. This small percentage includes women who marry after giving birth, couples who jointly raise the baby but choose not to marry, women whose pregnancies resulted from sexual assaults, and women who conceived as a result of an accident with a man who has no interest in the child. A British man is far more likely to contract HIV, hepatitis C, or a less serious sexually transmitted disease from unprotected casual sex than he is to become the "victim" of a gene hunter.

Ms Winkler focuses much of her article on quotations from two men who claim to have been emotionally battered by women who misrepresented themselves as users of contraception. This reinforces old stereotypes which classify women as solely responsible for the consequences of sex. If these men are victims, they are victims of their own stupidity.

Kimberly Fisher

Wivenhoe, Essex

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