Nelly Oudshoorn's book, The male pill: a biography of a technology in the making (2003) points out that although the feasibility of a male birth control pill was demonstrated in the 1970's, there is still no such product available. Early opinion surveys focused on class and gender differences, such as Balswick (1975) who stated that "any attempted reeducation process must take into account the lower-class male's fear of emasculation." According to a survey of 1,930 men by Thompson (2008), over half of men desire "more personal control over their fertility", and 96% are willing to visit a doctor in order to get a new method of male contraception. According to Thompson, belief persists among contraceptive developers that men would not embrace a drug-based birth control method, but the results of the survey contradict this stereotype.
In the 1980's, I knew a man who claimed to get a male birth control pill from Canada, saying that it wasn't available in the U.S. The man was a compulsive liar in pretty much every area of his life, but being 12, I believed him. As an adult, I question his motives for sharing this "fact" with a 12-year-old (he didn't actually make a pass at me that I noticed), as well as shudder to think about the girls he probably did convince to have unprotected sex with him.
Here's the thing: I feel like the male-birth-control thing is tied up in a Catch-22 with the social responsibility for pregnancy. I feel like the current laws regarding child support are unfair to men, but also that changing them would be unfair to women. I get furious when I hear things headlines like "Sperm Donor Sued for Child Support", even though the sources are often reactionary crap (two examples: FOXnews, 2005; NY Post, 2007). There is no opt-out for men when it comes to child support, but I feel like this option can't be given until there is more equal responsibility for preventing pregnancy.
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