Birth Control and the Sexes: The Importance of Gender Parity
What does equality mean when it comes to birth control?
The condom is down and the pill is up, according to the latest research from the Centers for Disease Control. Between 2006 and 2010, condom use decreased by 4% overall; among teens, the drop was nearly 50%. In Africa and India, condom use is also down. The news prompted a response from the Gates Foundation, which launched a contest last year calling for people to create the "next generation" condom in hopes that men would actually want to use it.
Now a non-profit organization called the Parsemus Foundation predicts that a new form of male contraception will be available by 2017. Called Vasalgel, the method would require doctors to inject a solution into the male scrotum every couple months to prevent sperm from leaving the testicles. The procedure is reversible and requires another simple injection to allow sperm to once again swim freely. But would men actively seek out and use Vasalgel?
At the Guardian, Jessica Valenti wonders whether men will let a doctor inject their sex organs when they already can't be bothered to use a condom. And while some have praised the potential contraceptive as a way to create more equality in the birth-control realm, it forgets the role of the condom in preventing disease. While Vasalgel could prevent STDs caused by the exchange of fluids, it would not protect against skin-to-skin conditions like herpes.
What does equality mean when it comes to birth control? Valenti writes that "it seems unlikely that a new form of male birth control will herald some sort of birth control equity in the way the advent of the pill did for women." Rather than increase the amount of responsibility men take when it comes to making a child with a woman, making contraception easier rather seems to decrease it.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.