Don't hold your breath waiting for the male birth control pill. Despite overwhelming statistics confirming that guys would be more than willing to take one (our very own AskMen/Shine study on the subject showed that the majority of both sexes agreed that they were ready to take the plunge), drug companies refuse to continue the already huge strides they've made in making it's availability a reality. And it's not because it's toooo haaararrd wah. So what's the big hold up? According to a recent article in Time, they simply don't believe that in this case anyway, sex sells.
"With the cost of new-drug development hovering in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the pharmaceutical industry decided there wasn't enough of a market to make male hormonal contraceptives worthwhile." Um, excuse me? Even more outrageous: "...major pharmaceutical companies like Wyeth, Schering and Organon were pumping millions into hormonal birth-control development programs for men," and by many accounts, well, let's just say they were THIS close.
"According to Kirsten Thompson, director of the Male Contraception Coalition, if Phase III clinical trials were to begin tomorrow on some of those discarded drugs, men would probably have their pick of contraceptive gels or implants - just like women - within five years."
While drug companies aren't exactly known for their diplomacy--as one researcher quite astutely claimed, "The pharmaceutical industry is completely disconnected from the public and medical perceptions of need."--I don't buy the fact that they think male birth control is a total financial suck. Could something more sinister be at play? Like for example, centuries of sexism and inherently expecting women to foot the bill when it comes to these "delicate" sexual matters?
Of course, I could rant about discriminatory conspiracy theories and old boys' clubs for hours, but as much as women have gotten the short end of the stick, erm, so to speak, when it comes to birth control rights, this seems incredibly unfair to men as well. What about the guys that want to actively take responsibility for their sperm and unplanned pregnancies? Their only alternative is a condom (hardly a fail safe resource) or an invasive vasectomy.
How do you feel? Guys, would you take birth control? And women, how would you like to share some of the responsibility with your partners?
SEE ALSO: "The Doctor is in: Contraception and Cost"