The Wednesday Weigh-In: Male birth control edition

It’s no secret that dudes love to talk about hormonal birth control. But until now, their more direct involvement, namely, being able to take it themselves to effectively prevent against unwanted pregnancy, has been somewhat limited, as there are no options for male hormonal birth control out there just yet.

Well to all my sistas tired of being the only ones to shoulder the burden of taking hormonal birth control, Christmas may have come early this year. The LA Times is reporting that a method of birth control targeted for men is showing some strong potential:

“A birth control gel for men sharply lowered sperm counts with few side effects, researchers reported Tuesday. The gel, containing testosterone and a synthetic progestin called Nestorone, will require substantially more testing, but it has the potential to become the first effective chemical birth control agent for males.”

I think most people would consider it a positive thing to have more options on the table when it comes to contraceptives, especially when those options involve more possibilities for men AND women. Feminists have long been making the case that we need better birth control. Plus it doesn’t seem fair (for women OR men) that women are the only ones with a hormonal birth control option, especially when you consider that it’s not exactly cheap.

Thus, today’s weigh-in centers on gel, sperm count, and ‘having it all’:

For those of you who are sexually active, who bears the primary responsibility for contraceptive use? How would access to a male hormonal contraceptive affect your life? Are you psyched, freaked out, or ambivalent that researchers are looking into male methods of contraceptives?

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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