Why Hasn’t The Pill Evolved? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 29 2011 @ 8:36am


A reader writes:

I have a theory for why the pill hasn't evolved, for why birth control isn't getting better: Manipulating human biology actually isn't a very easy to do without side effects. Especially when it involves the manipulation of hormones. I bet Barry Bonds would have liked to hit 73 home runs in a season with regularly-sized testicles. I bet Uncle Al wishes his cholesterol pill was better, too: why can't he eat his bacon and his hamburgers with diminished risk of heart disease AND without nauseau and diarrhea?

I'm sure this sort of opinion will provoke much ire from people my age who have grown up under the assumption that risk-free sex is par for the course. But when you realize that even condoms fail 3% of the time and go into this with a modicum of respect for the biological complexities of the human body, I kinda find it hard to sympathize with Ms. Friedman.

A better pill would be a goldmine for pharmaceutical companies. If there is one to be had, it will be created. Just don't hold your breath.

(Photo of an "exhibit demonstrating the 45k pills that a woman may take in her life." By Flickr user RachelC.)