Monday, March 12, 2007

The Pill For Men. Are We Ready?

Male birth control products are getting closer to market—really—but the question remains if men will use them.

Scientists have been toying with male birth control since at least the 1970s. Nearly as old are the periodic flurries of breathless news stories promising that said miracle pills will arrive at your local pharmacy within a few years. Even some of the more popular women’s magazines have practically sworn off the story until the development is more substantive than just another tease from R & D folks.

A caution: Public interest might not be as strong as the Human Reproduction survey would indicate—at least, not in the United States. According to a new MSN-Zogby poll, only 13 percent of American men said they would use it. Among both genders, 36 percent of American adults said their “current method is fine” and approximately another one-third said they would wait a year before using any new male birth control product.

So men. What gives? Are we that attached to our little swimmers, or are we ready to remember taking a little pill every day? I think that might be the big hang up. Monthly shots may do better, with reminder phone calls. It's hard to expect us to remember to take the pill every day when our minds are very busy with important things such as sports, sex, cars, sex, beer, and sex. We are heavy thinkers. Would you take this pill though to prevent 18 years of child support payments though? I am shocked that the poll numbers are so low. Why not prevent childbirth if you aren't ready emotionally or financially to support a kid. For me, this sure as hell beats having a vasectomy in an area known for earthquake activity.