Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
New York Times reporter Pam Belluck discusses medical advances toward a male contraceptive and the social impact it could have.
Listeners: Is this an attractive option? Men: Would you take it? Women: Would you want him to? Call us or comment here!
And although couples that use NFP have to abstain during certain days if they are trying to avoid pregnancy, which increases self-control, they have sex more frequently, statistically, than couples that use contraception. Women deserve better than these steroids, and so do men.
I would no sooner take a drug that would deform my body than I would cut off a finger. On the other hand, I would not ask a woman (any woman, but especially one whom I profess to love) to take steroids (which we won't let athletes take) to deform her body either. (Not to mention that the pill is a level 1 carcinogen - CDC, especially for women who have never lactated.) The caller mentioned the rythym method, which is about 90% effective (over one year of use - 90% of people who don't want a child avoid pregnancy), which is close to the success rate of condoms (92%), and condoms can have small cuts that are large enough to allow the AIDS virus through. The rythym method wasn't able to account for irregular cycles, but it was replaced in the late 1960s with Natural Family Planning (see Janet E. Smith, Damon Owens, etc.), which scientists developed. NFP is 98-99% effective, and couples that use it divorce at a 2% rate instead of a 25-50% rate because they communicate much better, and it makes sex self-giving, not selfish. One out of five adults have some sexually transmitted disease (and it's higher for younger people since that figure includes everyone). For Brian Lehrer, who is anti-God and anti-religion (an agnostic who doesn't say 'I don't know', but 'it's not possible to know' - how do you know so much about the unknown to say that it's unknowable? - GK Chesterton), this is just science, but these people ignore science when it's convenient. The Catholic Church appoved of NFP when the scientists presented it because of its many benefits. So I recommend NFP to any couple for its many, many advantages, one of which is that it avoids these ridiculous and shameful, self-deforming considerations about trying to achieve low sperm counts, etc.
If the guy is ok taking it, have his girl feed it to him to make sure he takes it!
MedihaKos, I agree--it's not that it's sexist, it's about who has to deal w/the consequences. Maybe the "manliness" issue could be turned around: you're so virile, your fertility has to be held back with a drug!
But the issue of trust is a major one, since there's no way to tell if a man is taking the drug.
I'm not a man, but a lot of men I know enjoy their social and financial freedom and would NOT want a child now. Yes, pregnancy and childbirth affect women more, but being a parent (even if it's just to send child support) is a serious undertaking. However, why don't more men get vasectomies? Aren't they reversible?
Elizabeth from Yonkers - lol, point taken. :)
I would still use another method of pregnancy prevention, as a precaution. Not because I don't trust men, but unwanted pregnancy is a serious issue, especially as the woman who would be carrying the fetus.
I think contraception options for men is a nice option, to give them more control over their own bodies and possible offspring.
Condoms may still be the best option for the reasons Carolita already mentioned. If you're worried your partner is delineating poking holes in them, you shouldn't be having sex with them to begin with!
Becky, that's funny!
i know a lot of men who are getting women pregnant and the women are choosing to have the babies. which they are not very happy about. so for some men it is for their own good to be on the pill
Unfortunately, reproduction has never been the responsibility of men in our society. I dont know how we would be able to condition men to start thinking that it is as much of a men's issue as a women's issue.
I don't think it would be as effective because of the male psyche and the expectations we put on men in our society.Men may feel less "manly" as a result of this.
Also, the consequences for men are not as great as they are for women... they are not the ones getting pregnant!
That said, I don;t think we should stop trying to make this successful. I would love to see this be successful!
I wonder if insurance companies will cover this male pill- I still have to pay $40 for mine each month.
One of ten children. Parents used natural family planning. Generally a disaster.
It is not that the pill (or chemicals, altered hormones, etc) are "empowering." It is that being able to have sex without the risk of having a baby is empowering.
I don't think condoms have a lower effectiveness rate than most other forms of birth control. They're 98 or 99 percent effective when used properly. That's certainly gonna be better than rhythm methods or chinese herbalism.
Ladies, do you really want to roll the die on the man remembering the contraceptive? They don't want to put down the toilet seat. Good luck with that!
Two Comments: 1st for the ladies, if you don't trust him, don't sleep with him.Then for the caller about the rhythm method - My brother-in-law and his wife have used it religiously for 18 years. They now have nine children. It doesn't even remotely work.
I agree with this caller 100%. Rhythm method works and avoids uncomfortable hormonal changes/weight gain.....etc.
Its not about having a woman trust you to take it. Its about not having to trust her anymore. Everyones responsible for their own 'fertility' and no one gets any unpleasant surprises (although obviously no methods are 100%).
And condoms are significantly less effective than most other contraceptives methods.
PBS Newshour had a story a few days ago about a plant in Indonesia with a chemical that is an effective male contraceptive. It is being tested on humans & has 100% success rate. It has no side effects!
@ VreniI also saw something on that just the other day and it sounded great. I'd like to hear more about that.
This caller is obviously nuts - why did you let her go on so long?
would it make my penis bigger?
The only male contraception I would trust is a vasectomy.
There is a great FREE male contraceptive. It's a rough pebble. You put it in your shoe and it makes you limp...
Why should women trust men who say they're regularly taking their contraceptive? That would be just plain dumb. Haha. "Trust me, honey, I'm on the pill."
It's called a condom! Great little thing that prevents transmission of STDs. I've long said that women shouldn't have to disrupt their hormones, but why should men do it?
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.