Women Across the World Rejoice! Male Birth Control is in the Works
Birth control is a double-edged sword. On the one side, a male and a female are able to enjoy a sexual relationship with one another, bonding them emotionally and physically as one. Ahh. Bliss. But on the other side, birth control can do some pretty nasty things to women, like making them puke, flatlining their sex drive (which, to me, seems to be 100% counter-productive), and bloating, which is no fun at all.
Why do guys get it so easy? I mean, from what I've heard, condoms aren't the most comfortable things in all of the land, but it's a minor inconvenience that the dudes have to deal with once a week for about a minute and a half.
With that in mind, and the statistic that around 55% of guys would be willing to take some of the weight off of their ladies' shoulders when it came to contraceptives, researchers have made a trip to the jungle island of Papua to hunt down the gendarussa — a shrub that the natives use to make a contraceptive tea. How does that work?
According to Dr. David Sokal, board chair of the Male Contraception Initiative, the gendarussa shrub “temporarily weakens enzymes” so the sperm can't latch onto the egg and begin fertilization. So they're not looking into killing the sperm — they're just trying to keep it from ever getting the chance to do its work.
While there are more tests that need to be conducted in order to take this thing from being a tea leaf and turning it into a pill — they've got to make sure that everything is safe and effective — there seems to be some promise. “You have to have an extremely safe product with only good side effects. And we think we'll be able to develop that,” said Diana Blithe, head biochemist of contraceptive research at the National Institutes of Health.
One thing that concerns me, however, is the hormonal changes that could plague a male under the influence of birth control. I imagine anything from heavy sobbing upon finding out that his Home Depot gift card has expired to violent anger when Bruno Tonioli boots the man's favorite couple on Dancing with the Stars gets booted from the show.
These are some important things to take into consideration!
Women have been having periods since day one, so us guys have learned through trial and error some tips and tricks in surviving such hormonal roller coasters in our significant female others. But since guys have been stereotypically portrayed as unemotional neanderthals (unfairly, might I add — to the neanderthals, I mean), I don't think anyone would know how to respond to such change — except, maybe, really long sticks and offerings of beef jerky.
Also, women seem to have been able to adapt and deal extremely well to some of the side effects that birth control tosses their way. When I get bloated (which is every time I get done with a pork salad at Cafe Rio), I shut down completely and call it a day. Imagine what the economy would look like if a vast majority of its male workers decided to call in sick because their bellies hurt.
What do you think? Is it about time that the guys jumped on the birth control train and helped out a little bit?