In the SRHR community, we spend a lot of time talking about maternal morbidity and mortality, about the need to insure access to health care services and supplies. We insist on need for access, real access to education for girls. We advocate for mandatory Comprehensive Sexuality Education since very early in one's life.
But the curious thought that sums it all up, as presented by Hugo Schwyzer, somehow surprised me
"Sperm kills.* For hundreds of millions of women over the course of millenia, the riskiest action they ever took was having sex (consensual or otherwise, married or not) with men. As medical historians will tell you, until the 20th century, childbirth was the leading cause of death for all women of childbearing years; in some societies that maternal mortality rate may have reached 40%, while other researchers prefer a lower figure of 1 in 5. Given that many women in the developing world still have half a dozen children or more, as they did in previous centuries, the overall risk is compounded by the sheer number of pregnancies carried to term. (1 in 7 Afghan women today die in childbirth.)
To put it even more bluntly, men have killed far more women by ejaculating inside of them than they have by any other method. Semen has killed more people than any other body fluid."He concludes that, culturally, as a collective unconscious knowledge, it might be one of the reasons to fear the patriarchy-wise channeled male (hetero)sexuality even in places where the feminist fight is not anymore about the legal right to say "no".
A thought-provoking read, anyways.