A Better Pill To Swallow?

“The debut of an oral contraceptive for women helped fuel a sexual revolution in the 1960s. Will the birth of a male pill once again change our understanding of gender roles?”

Kimberly Roots in Science & Spirit:

16“Historically, of course, before the advent of the pill in 1960, it had been the male responsibility to buy condoms,” says University of Chicago sociologist Edward O. Laumann, who is arguably sex researcher Alfred Kinsey’s most prominent intellectual heir. “The balance of decision-making authority over that sort of thing has shifted pretty definitively to the woman and to having control over her own body.”

We may be on the brink of another shift. Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a Norwegian biotechnology company called SpermaTech announced they are close to developing a male contraceptive pill. If the project—or any of a number of other male contraceptive research efforts currently under way around the world—is successful, men may have their first real chance in forty-five years at having a voice in the reproductive rights discussion. The question is: Do they want one?

Sociologists familiar with the situation say wide acceptance of a male pill would come only after a serious overhaul of the way both women and men think about male identity.

More here.