Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Male Birth Control, an unorganized rambling

So, as I sit here eating second breakfast I was quick reading some articles on break.  And I thought about a conversation that Ry and I had about male contraception last night that was spurred on by this (rather poorly written) article

Personally I'm all for birth control that is non-hormonal.  Having been a user of several different types of hormonal birth control for years (9 of them if anyone's counting), I can safely say that they do change you as a person.  They alter your moods and your body.  I feel much more in control of my emotions and my weight not taking them.  I am also for the most effective form of birth controls being cheap and easy to get. 

It seems like this male form of birth control is pretty cheap, easy, non-hormonal and REVERSIBLE, which should make it practically perfect, right? I think the reversible thing is a big deal. This is where Ry and my conversation really began. 

So, imagine that Planned Parenthood made this procedure easily available on college campuses.  Seems like a good idea, right?  Guys can get the procedure, not worry about getting their partner pregnant, both boys and girls graduate from college baby free, and when they are ready, boy can get procedure reversed and they can make new little people all they want. 

So, why isn't this the case?  Sexually transmitted infections (STIs, they aren't STDs anymore.  I'm not sure when that changed but it did).  The fear is that since after the procedure there is no worry about getting pregnant (this procedure touts a hard to believe 100% success rate) that the unprotected sex rates will run rampant and the spread of STIs will increase. 

The author of the article seems to feel that the reason it won't catch on here in the states is due to the issue being the control of women's bodies.  I know there's been a ton of stuff in the news, legislation and what not, about control of women's bodies from birth control to abortions but I feel that it's not what this is about.  This is about the fact that women get pregnant and men don't.  A woman knows if she's on the pill.  A woman knows if she's using some other type of contraceptive.  A woman is the one most at risk if a pesky little sperm finds it's way to her ripe and fertile egg.  A woman doesn't know if the guy has actually had this procedure.  She also doesn't know if he is preparing to become a willing donor of an STI. 

Now, I understand that there are different situations.  First off, if you are in a monogamous relationship, this is perfect (hoping you don't cheat).  It's cheap and easy and requires no surgery and no hormonal augmentation and is reversible.  I wish this existed when Ry and I were younger.  But if you are not in a long term relationship and you tell your date that you can't get her pregnant you are going to have to accept the fact that she should be skeptical.  How many times has a girl heard that one in the past?  I actually don't know, but I assume that douchy guys who are hitting every kegger on campus use this line. At least, that's what I've seen in movies, which is where I get all of my information about kids these days. 

I probably have more to say about this but...not right now.  I'm all for it, don't get me wrong.  My point is not about unprotected sex or STIs but that this is not a body control issue concerning women.  You know what I mean?

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