Living

Is birth control for men a good idea?

For women, who have traditionally borne the heaviest burdens of responsibility when it comes to babies — making them or preventing them — the idea of an effective birth control pill for men sounds like the most welcome idea since the invention of cookie dough ice cream.

birth control pills

Masterfile

For women, who have traditionally borne the heaviest burdens of responsibility when it comes to babies — making them or preventing them — the idea of an effective birth control pill for men sounds like the most welcome idea since the invention of cookie dough ice cream. 

Cancer researchers, Jay Bradner and Martin Matzuk have developed a molecule called JQ1, which is designed to disrupt the activities of cancer cells. According to an article appearing in the Atlantic Monthly Online, and based on information published in Cell magazine, JQ1 may also inhibit sperm production.

It seems to work on mice anyway — after six weeks of exposure to JQ1 the happy little bachelor rodents in the study were free to engage in a carefree lifestyle that Russell Brand might envy, without worrying about the pitter-patter of tiny mice feet in their futures. 

Cessation of treatment seems to demonstrate restoration of virility — in mice anyway — and there appears to be no threat of genetic mutation to subsequent generations of mice. Fun while it lasted, but even research mice must eventually settle down and make babies.

At this stage and despite promising returns, researchers acknowledge that if this oral treatment pans out and becomes widely available, men would have to be hyper-vigilant about taking it on a regular basis, which, when translated into the complex world of romantic entanglement or the occasional biological encounter, still means a leap of faith on the part of women who have the most to lose — or gain — depending on circumstances and point of view. 

The verdict is still out as to JQ1’s effectiveness when measured against the reliability of the female birth control for women and the condom.  

Now if only someone could invent a pill designed to make men want to change diapers.

Would you trust men to take a birth control pill regularly?