The Dude got his business surgically de-activated a couple of years ago, so that ship has sailed for us, but a bet a lot of you might yet have occasion to know a fella who’s on the Pill. No, not that pill. The Pill for Dudes.
What Pill for Dudes, PhDork?
Why, the one being developed by Israeli scientists that would render a man’s sperm incapable of delivering all it’s teeny-weeny chromosomes to a woman’s egg for three months at a time!
According to the Telegraph story, this truly stunning (to me) medical advancement promises to be 100% effective and without any side effects. (Is that possible?) All the testing thus far has been on rodents, but human trials are on the calendar for next year, meaning the Pill for Men could be available (by Rx? OTC?) in as little as three years.
We’ve had our Pill for 50 years (and maude bless it), and I’ve always heard that a chemical/oral contraceptive for men would never happen because 1) dudes would never voluntarily render themselves sterile, due to weird masculine identity issues; 2) men make so many sperm that “disabling” them all would be impossible; 3) guys couldn’t or wouldn’t reliably dose themselves, since the threat of an unwanted pregnancy is so much less real to them; and 4) men would never put up with the assumed side effects.
But here we (almost) are. I’m really kind of shocked, and boggling at what this might mean–for relationships between men and women, for the reproductive rights movement, for the MRAs, for the discussion around STDs, and maybe even for the future of birth control for women. I realize it’s not just a matter of “monkey with the egg!” since those babies come pre-packaged, but if there would be advancements that would rely on manipulating proteins rather than hormone levels…
For our readers with manpanions: would your dude be willing to take a contraceptive pill? Would you trust him to do so? And for those who sleep with guys: is this a good idea? (or a great idea?) How do you think this drug could change men’s sexual behavior? And how might it change yours?
P.S. This is an interesting article from last year on these issues.