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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Interesting Article About Male Birth Control

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Author Topic: Interesting Article About Male Birth Control
Roxie102
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I just came across this intriging article, linked below.

http://techcitement.com/culture/the-best-birth-control-in-the-world-is-for-men/#.UPcA9aVyiyH

Has anyone heard of this? Is this really a real, viable form of birth control, and if so, why is it not widely available? The implications of this would be astounding - cheap, highly effective, easily reversible, and lessens the burden of birth control on women.

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Heather
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Most often, the problem when it has come to developing birth control methods for men has been:
a) lack of funding based on lack of reported interest by men, and
b) lack of men volunteering for clinical trials.

And, like that article pointed out, methods which require big money to test and refine, but which will not result in big profits have always been challenging to get or keep out there. That's been the big issue with cervical barriers since all of this went for-profit, for instance. [Frown]

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CSandSourpatch
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My boyfriend's mentioned this a few times. He's never actually said whether or not he'd go for it, but he thinks it's a pretty awesome idea and is a little peeved that it's so under-funded, so I imagine he'd at least consider using it were it to become clinically available stateside.

Unfortunately, as Heather pointed out, money is one of the big issues, here, and it's sad that a lack of profit so often what jeopardizes a lot of things that could really benefit people.

I do have to wonder what the (lack of) motivation is in terms of men not wanting to use it, and whether or not that could be changed. Say, if they think birth control is the woman's responsibility because she's the one who carries a baby vs. the 2-3 months it would take to flush out entirely being longer than a couple wants to/can wait before trying to start a family.

I can definitely see where the clinical trials could be a little scary, though. I don't particularly like doctors messing around with my reproductive system, even just for a pap smear, which is relatively painless. (Although it's made to sound like this really wouldn't hurt too much--not having those parts, though, I couldn't say.)

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copper86
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I think male birth control is a good idea. I think that it isn't just for the reasons listed above that this would be under-funded and difficult to gather participants; but I also think it's a cultural issue. It is as if society places birth control medications like this on females; perhaps because it is the female who could become pregnant. Also, we still live in a patriarchical society, so perhaps this is also due to men thinking that women should be the ones to use, pay for, or be the partner to initiate using birth control methods like the pill. Of course, these are only my personal, somewhat-feminist views on the subject. [Smile]

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Heather
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Well, the difficulty in getting trial participants usually boils down to some of these issues: fears or ideas about how one might be "being the woman," or how, especially with hormonal medications, it might "turn a man into a woman," etc.

And even for men that either don't feel that way or find attitudes like that repellant, some still likely deal with the fear that if other men find out, they'd give them grief of that variety.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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CSandSourpatch
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I've been really sheltered from the attitude that a guy who would use any sort of birth control (hormonal or otherwise) would be "being a woman". All of the friends, male and female, I've met through high school and college have been big on the prevention of pregnancy, however that manifests itself, so a guy isn't "being a woman"/less of a man for taking a part. I just find it sad that that's as prevalent an attitude as it apparently is.

I guess my approach in so many words is this: It takes a man and a woman to create a pregnancy, so it can just as easily (and should, in my humble opinion) take both to prevent them. If it has equally to do with which you are, then it should just have nothing to do with which you are.

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Heather
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I hear you, CSandSouyrpatch: those attitudes aren't ones I grew up around nor are in my own life.

And yet: they're not only out there, and often get a lot of play around things like this, they, and cultural ideas about masculinity like this impact a whole lot of men, even men who really are more forward-thinking. Just like, say, cultural ideas about women needing to present certain ways in terms of how they look, or play certain roles with men have an impact on plenty of even the most feminist women.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Tullia95
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I found this article really interesting. Personally, in my relationship, I told my bf that I would get on birth control and I currently have the 5 year IUD, Mirena. I love that I know for sure that I'm safe and that security is almost confidence boosting, as silly as that sounds. So I wonder, what if it was my bf who got birth control, would it give him an ego boost? I love the idea of a guy talking to some chick and they might end up in bed and she asks for a condom and he's like "don't worry, I'm on birth control". It sounds funny to me (and I'm sure to others too), but at the same time, I look at it as something that has the capability of becoming a normal trend. It takes two people to make a child and therefore I think men need to step up to the plate and be responsible for their actions. When I look at reproduction as a whole (not to bash on the guys, but...), I see it as the woman going through a lot of pain and suffering. We have periods and birth control and hormones, then 9 months of lugging around another human (not trying to bash on people who like being pregnant, just being literal), then we have to go through the pain of having the child. And what do men do? They get to pass on their genes and get a good feeling out of it.

So, that's my little rant on how I see things. I think that men should be held just as responsible as women in preventing pregnancy. Also, I noticed how they mentioned this could help stop the spread of HIV. That alone I think should be something alluring about this treatment. And guys shouldn't be shy about having their "man parts" tweeked a little, women do it all the time and just because you want to be a mature responsible person doesn't make you "womanly". Our society in general has so well defined roles that I think it will take some time for this idea to stick, no matter how beneficial the technology can be.

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