Is There Money In A Male Pill?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 27 2011 @ 6:42pm

Amanda Marcotte argues there isn't. Among her evidence:

Vasectomies are safer, less invasive, and quicker to heal from than tubal ligations, but the rate of female sterilization in the U.S. is twice the rate of vasectomy. (Actually, according to the CDC, women get sterilized at three times the rate of men.)  If men, on average, were invested in taking responsibility for contraception, we should see those numbers basically reversed, since tubal ligations are more dangerous. 

In addition, sterilization is a form of birth control that's most commonly chosen by people in long-term relationships who've had all their children, i.e. people with the maximum amount of commitment to their partners.  In the group of people we're talking about, the woman has likely been using contraception, has had a couple of pregnancies, and now they're deciding together to go for sterilization.  This would be the time that men are most likely to feel like taking one for the team, and yet they do so at less than half the rate of women.

Jessica Dweck  differs:

[A]ccording to studies by the World Health Organization, men across the globe would overwhelmingly welcome the opportunity to take an oral contraceptive and maintain greater control over family planning. In fact, the WHO has had no difficulty recruiting volunteers to its male contraception studies. While some of this enthusiasm is rooted in the sexist belief that women routinely sabotage their birth control to manipulate men, it’s still a powerful message to researchers and pharmaceutical companies that there exists a robust market for the male pill.

Earlier coverage of this issue here.