|low graphics version | feedback | help|
|You are in: Talking Point|
Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Would you trust a man to take the pill?
Men could be popping their own version of the contraceptive pill within five years - but will it catch on, and more to the point will women trust their partners to take it?Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
Edinburgh University scientists say the first clinical trials of the male pill suggest it is 100% effective, with no harmful side effects.
The Catholic Church says it will lead to more unplanned pregnancies and abortions, but for the many women who cannot take the pill for health reasons, this male contraception will probably be welcome news.
Would you take it? Will it lead to couples being lax about protecting themselves against STDs? Is it time men took more responsibility for contraception? Tell us what you think.
I'm not sure what this discussion is all about. This pill is coming. Various people will take it for their personal reasons. Most pro and contra comments here seem to be driven by egocentrical views on sex and relations.
I can understand the paranoia some women would have about the male pill, since
ultimately they bear the physiological consequences of any 'mistakes'.
However, I was relieved by the level-headed comments from
virtually all the women who have written in on this subject.
The male pill offers more choice, and allows responsibility to be shared. If you are using
this type of contraceptive in a relationship, there must be a good level of trust anyway.
Christopher Hobe Morrison, USA
I think it is about time men had an equal standing on whether their want a baby or not. This pill will enable men not to be entrapped by women who want them to be fathers. However would I trust a man to use the pill as the only means of protection? No way!
Men trust women, don't they?
The male pill, it was only time before it came out. Personally I would like the option of using it myself, my long term partner has been on the pill for some time now and we trust each other, that is not to say we are perfect but I do care about my partner and the long term effects it has on her. In society today the majority of responsibility lies mainly on the woman for protection against un-planned pregnancy. However there are males like myself would also like to take responsibility and perhaps give our partners a chance to take a break from the pill.
Michelle Crossin, UK
Why are women commenting on this anyhow? This is an issue about men's rights and freedoms.
Why should "we" trust you?
In answer to the question, "would you trust a man to take a contraceptive pill?", I will say that I have been surgically sterilised. I think my answer can be deduced from that fact alone.
I agree with Tony from the UK. It's always been both partners responsibility to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies so it will only get more easier with the male pill!
Should people in weak, "temporary", or one-night relationships be having sex anyway? Would this not cut the rates of STD transmission and unwanted pregnancies? I think so. Perhaps an education in modern morality could benefit those who seem to need to sleep with anything with a pulse...
Of course men can be trusted to take the pill.
There may be some concerns about mucking around with the bodies biochemistry.
But look at the comments just on this page.
The guys are relieved because at last they no longer have to trust the women. Doesn't that say something in itself.
The freedom should help curb some of the stereotypes which women seem so ready to peddle.
I would trust my partner 100%. If you have to think about whether you could trust your partner to take a contraceptive pill should you really be having sex with them anyway?
I think what a lot of women are worried about is that men
will forget to take it every day. I can safely say that faced
with the choice of trying to remember to take the pill everyday
of have an unwanted pregnancy, 100% of men will rather take
Except in a very few cases
unwanted pregnancies are the result of
sefishness, ignorance and laziness, on both sides.
While a male-pill is certainly a victory for fair-play, it's clearly an alternative for married or monogamous couples.
The AIDS pandemic clearly means that condoms will be unmissable from any form of genital sex.
My hope is this won't give young males around the world a false sense of condomless safety.
Sounds like a revolutionary concept, but would men remember to take them? If men are going to have to take the responsibility of being a father they can take the responsibility of taking a wee pill daily too!
Personally, I have been waiting for a "Male Pill" for years. Nobody wants an unplanned pregnancy! I have known more than one single mother who has become pregnant while using the pill. In one instance, it was because she had been on antibiotics. Men have to deal with the lifetime of guilt and the 18 years of child support for their "mistake". Once the pill becomes available, I'll certainly be using it.
Everything in the news points towards the male population being irresponsible and lying about taking birth-control measures. However, the media is not so quick to suggest that some small percentage of the female population also lies about taking the female contraceptive pill. Given that pills are, or will soon be available for both sexes, should the question not be; "Would you trust your partner to take the pill" rather than focusing on one sex?
Men have trusted us long enough with the pill, I guess we should at least give them a chance. No room for mistakes though, so any gal in a steady relationship with any doubts, be there every morning and pop it in his mouth yourself.
In my country, society still values having a large number of children. Women who use any contraceptive at all, use it so secretively that the partner does not know.
Researches in social science even show that it is very common for such men to keep asking the woman to bear more children for him and if not he may engage in extramarital relations or go as far as marrying the second woman. So you ask me, will you trust your partner to take the male pill? My answer is no, no, never!
If you are in a stable relationship and neither of you want children then what is stopping the man taking it? But there are sadly naive women out there who would rather risk catching an STD than use a condom and it is them who need to wake up and smell the roses. If a man says he is on it, great but he can still be on the pill AND have and STD, and the same goes for women. In a world full of distrust and dishonesty it doesn't matter who is taking the pill!
John Nevitt, UK
How many men have ended up as Dads because women decided that they wanted a child and be damned; and told a little 'white lie'. Giving men the pill would give them empowerment over their own bodies and the reproduction process...something women will not like.
An interesting development to be sure, but us men already have a reasonably reliable form of contraception - the condom - which brings with it the added benefit of protection from STD's. I hope in marketing this new pill the 'safe sex' message isn't lost as a result.
We think that if men take the pill, they won't protect themselves and their partners against STDs.
Nigel Harrow, UK
I agree with the Catholic Church that introducing the male pill will lead to more unwanted pregnancies.
In my country, society still values children.
How much does it cost? That's a side effect straight away that would keep some people from using it.
I personally would feel much happier having the responsibility in my hands than that of some airhead woman. The number of times I've heard that they are on the pill, just to get me in bed is amazing. This gives men the freedom of choice and prevents the female of the species trapping us for the rest of our lives. This is a fantastic development for men's right to choose.
I'm better off with a condom. Why would I trust a bunch of academics to tell me that ingesting yet more foreign chemicals will not produce any harmful side-effects and that the pill is safe? These are the same people stuffing GMOs down my throat.
The final word in whether or not to terminate an unwanted pregnancy lies with the woman so, therefore, should the responsibility for contraception. Furthermore, the female pill is only an adjustment to nature's monthly pattern of fertility. No such pattern exists for the male and hence I can't believe this is risk free. We should all be able to trust our long term partners, but the same cannot be said for unseen doctors.
The best method of birth control is to put a picture of Barbara Bush on your nightstand, digitally enhanced to look 100 years younger.
That, I think, should be enough.
This new technology is in addition to all those that have gone before, and need not be a replacement. If absolute trust isn't present, then the responsibility falls on everyone individually to take his or her own precautions to avoid conception. This offers men a new way to do so, nothing more, nothing less. If both participants end up on the Pill, then so much the better, if it's truly as side-effect-free as claimed.
Andrew C, UK
I would trust my partner implicitly, contraception is a joint responsibility so why should other men shy away from that? I know my partner wouldn't.
Would I trust a man to remember to take a pill that would prevent MY getting pregnant? Are you quite mad?
I wish this pill had been available 20 odd years ago! I would definitely take it without any hesitation.
Yet again this page has become a forum for the deadheads amongst us to give wild and unfounded opinions. I expect the usual "women should be responsible for that" and "men are useless" comments. I'm all for free speech, but these freaks seem to think the whole of a gender is as warped as their partner, must we encourage such stupidity.
Can you trust a man to take the pill? I should say so! In this age of supposed "equality" men are expected to cough up to provide for their kids, even if the mother tricked them into becoming a father (claiming THEY were on the pill). Young men will now be able to protect themselves against the gold diggers who think they can have a baby and get someone else to pay for it!
Women have the choice to take the pill, why shouldn't men? I think that it is a great idea for couples, especially as there are no side effects. For single people then it shouldn't matter anyway, a condom should be the only form of contraceptive which they consider.
There is the danger that men will lure women into a false sense of security by saying they're on the pill when they're not but how many women say the same? It does happen! Sadly, there are some women who are all too willing to turn men into sperm donors, and if a man wants to protect himself from fathering kids unwittingly, he'll probably jump at the chance to take the male pill. If I was a chap, I know I would.
E. Thomas, Wales
I would trust my partner implicitly with the responsibility of taking this form of contraception. However, if I was single and having sex without barrier contraception, I would not trust any man who said they were taking the pill. If a woman lies about taking it, it would be because she wanted to get pregnant. If a guy lied about it, it would be because he wants sex - how else can it be seen?? The only people the male pill will benefit are those in a strong "permanent" relationship.
There's nothing new about the contraceptive pill for men - you put it in your shoe and it makes you limp.
I had to come off the pill after 9 years - after constant headaches, migraines, weight gain, PMT - the list is endless. What's more, the pill, taken properly, is 99% effective, not infallible.
It's about time men took the responsibility for contraception, my partner still occasionally moans about having to use condoms, but it was either that or constant painkillers.
I think the Catholics are way off the mark (yet again) in supposing that the introduction of the male pill will result in an increase in unwanted pregnancies. On the contrary, the opposite is likely if both sexes have access to convenient oral contraception instead of just one. Of course, it may result in an increase in the incidence of STDs, especially as the Government is doing nothing to improve sex education in this country (no doubt under pressure from the Christian lobby).
Let's think about this for a second. Take the pill (obviously within a stable relationship) and you don't have to use a condom. Don't take it and you do. How many men out there would seriously say, "I prefer a condom"? In my mind, there is no question; I would take it without reservation. As I have heard many times "wearing a condom during sex is like wearing a raincoat in the shower".
Having only ever been in long term relationships where, for various reasons, my partner could not take the female pill, the condom was the only form of contraception and thus always my responsibility anyway. If this pill is 100% effective then it is a godsend and where do I get some? Due to the nature of long-term relationships, there is no question of the male partner lying, but casual relationships are another matter.
I'm not entirely sure what Dr S' point is. Does he mean to say that, seeing as women already have an effective pill they can take, that men shouldn't bother themselves? Isn't it time that men started taking some sort of responsibility on this issue? If the male pill is 100% effective, has no side effects and it is better than the female version, then men should have no qualms using it!
Angela Freeth, UK
The most effective form of safe sex for a man is still to give a false name.
Surely the question should be "would you trust your partner to take the pill?" Anyone who doubts their sexual partner's word about contraception should insist on using a condom, whether they are male or female. This question has been asked since the 60's - it's the same for women as for men.
Girls were over the moon when
the female pill became available
in the 1960s, so
why change things now?
To suggest men would lie about taking the pill is a little harsh. I'm as keen to avoid being hounded by the CSA for maintenance payments as any potential sexual partner is to avoid carrying an unexpected child. It would also avoid having to use alternative methods for 7 days, during menstruation.
If it is 100% effective with no side effects, there would be no reason not to take it, and I personally would.
17 Jul 00 | Health
'100% success' for male pill trial
23 Feb 00 | Health
Most men 'would take the pill'
05 Jan 00 | Health
Male pill moves closer
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Other Talking Points:
Links to other Talking Point stories
|^^ Back to top
News Front Page | World | UK | UK Politics | Business | Sci/Tech | Health | Education | Entertainment | Talking Point | In Depth | AudioVideo
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy