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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Male birth control pill levels the field

    Since the 1960s, the birth control pill has lifted the weight of worrying about unintended pregnancy from the shoulders of women. Men have had to rely on only condoms, but research shows that a male birth control pill could be on the horizon. A male birth control pill will put both genders on an equal playing field.

    Researchers at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, which is nationally recognized for its research dealing with male contraceptives, have been working for 10 years to make male birth control a possibility.

    The pill is a chemical compound called H2-gamendazole that keeps sperm from developing in the testes. Men would essentially shoot blanks until they stopped taking the pill.

    Tests on rats have proven that it is “100 percent effective and 100 percent reversible,” Joseph Tash, a reproductive biologist at the University of Kansas, told the Detroit Free Press.

    Finally, an equivalent of the pill is almost within men’s grasp. Researchers say the reason it has taken so long to finalize male birth control is that the male reproductive system is extremely different from the female system so it’s an entirely different formula. Women only release one egg a month, but men produce around a 1,000 sperm a second, according to the Detroit Free Press.

    “I think that birth control is something that guys associate with women, but if they can get over that, it will ensure that they won’t get stuck with a child,” said Alex Ross, a studio art junior. “Guys would be in more control over this part of their life.”

    The public should welcome this discovery and celebrate equal rights to oral contraception.

    More than a year ago, California resident Quiten Brown volunteered to test the male hormone pills.

    “I think it would empower men,” Brown told MSNBC. He also said he hopes his children will one day have the option of a male birth control pill.

    Researchers at the World Health Organization have also been conducting hundreds of studies in various countries that have shown men would welcome the pill. When testing the hormones on men, the organization’s representatives said it hasn’t been difficult to recruit volunteers, and that these men are anxious to see male birth control on the market.

    “It’s a really good idea,” said Spencer Godfrey, a visual communications sophomore. “Condoms suck. They break really easily because the material isn’t durable, but that’s all guys have. As long as they get all of the kinks out, I think it would be a good option for guys to have.”

    Just how 50 years ago birth control pills gave women more control over their sex lives, this male contraceptive could give men that same peace of mind. These researchers should be applauded for their effort, and Americans should celebrate this opportunity to fully equalize sexual responsibilty.

    — Rebecca Miller is a junior studying photography and journalism. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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