Who should be responsible for stopping the 120 million sperm that are released during a male orgasm from fertilizing a female’s egg? The context of that question has been a societal debate in terms of the consequences of unplanned pregnancy and whether it is a female, male or both sexes responsibility to practice “safe sex”. Introducing the birth control pill for women in the 1960s created a huge controversy between sexual conservatives and the women who would benefit from the pill, but the responsibility still remained in the hands of women. However, as medicine has advanced and the possibility of a male birth control pill has amounted, many wonder if the same issues would arise if a male birth control pill did in fact become available. In order to understand the effects on society of both individual female and male responsibilities it is essential that the women birth control pill is discussed, the male pill and lastly, what the stigmas and potential effects of both birth control pills mean.
The female birth control pill became available to the public in 1961. During that time period the acceptance of women sexuality was becoming more common; however, critics felt that the pill promoted unnecessary female sexual behavior. The fact that a woman could partake in casual sex without worrying about becoming pregnant was an issue amongst many people in society. Although premarital sex was not completely shunned as it was a couple decades previous to that time, many still felt as if a woman should not enjoy multiple sexual relationships. Women were expected to only act or feel sexually toward one man who she was in a serious relationship with. With that being said, the grounds for accepting the use of female contraceptives became a blurred line between what many felt was the “green light” for women to have a sex life and what could potentially harm societies view of the American woman.
Whether or not society approved or disapproved birth control for women, it was clear that the responsibility of the possible negative effects of having sex was left up to the woman. Many would agree that that statement still applies today as well. Furthermore, it is understandable that women are seen as more driven or “trustworthy” to protect themselves, because they are responsible for carrying and becoming a mother to a child if impregnated. That idea, however feeds the double standard that men can be very sexually active without worrying about the life altering effects they are causing women. So, if it is socially acceptable for men to sleep around and not women then shouldn’t they be responsible for preventing unplanned pregnancies?
Amongst other things, that question has led medical researchers to attempt to create a male birth control pill. An equal share in responsibility of men and women during sex would be the ultimate goal. It has been made clear that in the 1960s and even today that society accepts the fact that men have a sex drive and...