My husband was watching the news yesterday while I was cooking dinner and stopped briefly on HLN, where a female doctor was discussing a new drug that can suppress sperm production in the testes. So far the research has just been done on rats, but it’s the first drug molecule that’s small enough to get through the testes’ protective blood-barrier, so it’s a milestone in the search for a male contraceptive.
The doctor went on to say that in her clinic they do far more tubal ligations than vasectomies, because “guys don’t like anything that messes with those areas.” You can hear someone on the set laugh and clap, which is really unusual. The woman newscaster who took over from the interview commented, “You should see the faces of the men in the studio right now,” making a face like someone grimacing in horror. The implication was all the men were appalled at the thought of choosing to destroy their sperm.
I have wondered for many years: why aren’t men clamoring for a male contraceptive? In these days when paternity can be definitely established via DNA tests, a one-night stand can result in 18 years of child support—your wages garnished by court order. You have a child, but you’re never the father because you never had a relationship with the mother. What a nightmare!
I can’t imagine being a man and putting my life in the hands of a woman, having to trust that she’s not lying to me about using birth control. It appears that the ability to impregnate infuses many men’s image of their sexuality and they can’t imagine separating the two.