A MALE BIRTH CONTROL PILL WITHIN 3 YEARS?

Could be, reports the Washington Times. Tyler Cowen takes interest in the issue mostly as a way to ponder whether men can expect more or less sex if they can tell potential partners they are on the pill. But this ignores, I think, the main utility of oral contraceptives, which don't protect either partner from sexually transmitted infections: to prevent pregnancy in long-term, committed relationships. Megan McArdle helpfully intervenes:

As any woman can attest, it's all too easy to miss one or more of those pills. It's therefore very difficult to trust someone else to take them. It's especially hard if you are the one who will bear the heaviest price for a failure. As long as women have the stronger incentive to avoid pregnancy, it will be easier to trust them to keep taking their pills. Especially if you don't live together and thus can't watch him taking it at the same time every morning.

Indeed. One hopes, though, that the burden of this responsibility could be successfully transfered to men, especially those in committed relationships who are, presumably, deeply invested in their partner's health and happiness. So men out there: Would you take birth control pills if you knew they were safe and their effects were reversible? Would you trust yourself to remember to take them at the very same time every day?

--Dana Goldstein

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