Ever wondered why male birth control isn’t a thing? Here’s a hint: It’s not because there aren’t a variety of safe options developed and tested by scientists. Not surprisingly, it has everything to do with a lack of funding from the pharmaceutical industry. And of course, this lack of funding stems from our culture of capitalism and misogyny.
The creative options scientists have invented include an “affordable, minimally invasive, and fully reversible” injection that lasts for years, as well as a gel that decreases sperm count while retaining normal testosterone levels.
One of these methods, developed by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, made news around this time last year. The wom-internet burst into fits of laughter following a report that the method was canned because of adverse reactions to its side effects.
The funny part is that the side effects listed in the report were almost exactly the same as the side effects women who use birth control have been dealing with for decades—mood swings, weight gain, acne, etc. In 2017, the report reads as even more tragically ironic, given the fact if their employers decide to take a moral or religious exemption, women have to pay full price for birth control.
According to CNBC, a 2000 research study found that “83 percent of men from various countries would take a contraceptive.” But pharmaceutical companies seem reluctant to pursue a male contraceptive beyond what already exists on the market. Why? Because they’re making billions of dollars on female birth control and condoms, and male birth control sales would cut into those profits.
As the saying goes, money rules the world—and our fallopian tubes, apparently.