The Daily Evergreen

Men should take control of future with new male birth control

Despite negative online reactions, male students excited for option to utilize pills

NICK SANDIFER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

NICK SANDIFER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

ALAINA BEAULAURIER, Evergreen columnist

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A recent study from the University of Washington found that a male birth control pill is safe for daily use.

It works as a sperm blocker, using hormones to lower sperm count to a safe level that ensures their partner will not become pregnant. The most recent clinical trial finished positively with no serious medical side effects.

In fact, the only reported side effect among the group was slight weight gain. Women across the nation might snort at this, having felt the literal weight of our birth control pills for the past 50 years. But being sexually responsible should not be solely a woman’s duty.

Historically, men have not had the option to take part in birth control medication practices. Now that this option is becoming available, it gives way to a new sexual health lifestyle that both men and women should embrace.

Pushback from men across the nation is visible through social media. Apparently gaining a few pounds is a woman’s job, or at least that’s what my Facebook feed has been telling me.

After seeing countless comments online about the unfair negative side effects men will have to face with this new medication, I decided to find out how men at WSU felt.

Jon Whitley, a recent WSU mechanical engineering graduate, seemed to have a different opinion from male online presence.

“I’d have no problem with that,” Whitley said. “I’d rather determine my own destiny.”

He said he isn’t afraid of gaining a bit of weight to protect himself from impregnating someone.

“Just like taking any other prescription, it’s going to have side effects,” Whitley said. “You just gotta deal with them.”

Whitley wasn’t the only man who showed excitement for the new medication. Chris Reideman, a senior electrical engineering major, said he looks forward to the pill being on the market.

“I’d rather not gain weight,” he said, “but it’s that or condoms.”

Regardless of the side effects, Reideman said he wants the choice of sexual responsibility to be in his own hands. He explained that if he was able to take male birth control pills, he would feel more at ease.

“There’s always the case of girls being like, ‘Oh, I’m on the pill. It’s fine,’ ” Reideman said. “But from the guy’s perspective it’s like, how do I actually know that?”

I tried to find a male on campus who wasn’t excited for male birth control pills. Out of the dozens of men I talked to, every single one was delighted with the coming advances in medication.

Blake Rogers, a senior zoology and nursing major, said the time has come for men to step up.

“Women have had to go through a ton of different trial and error when it comes to weight gain, hormonal imbalances and changes in their mood,” Rogers said. “Why should it be any different for guys?”

He looks forward to the coming research this successful trial will launch and is hopeful for variations in male birth control that women currently have access to, like arm implants and quarter-annual shots.

It’s refreshing to see that men at WSU are embracing male birth control and sexual responsibility. Men should have the option to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy. This shouldn’t be the sole obligation of women, even if that means men have to gain a couple pounds.

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Men should take control of future with new male birth control