Preventing Pregnancy: Who's Responsibility Is It?
This is a hotly debated, seriously controversial question. Historically, pregnancy prevention has largely been the job of women, since women bore most (and sometimes all) of the responsibility for children. They must carry them in pregnancy, give birth to them, and then care for them. And it wasn't very long ago that a woman had very little recourse if the father of her child didn't want to stick around. She'd be stuck with all the burden, and the man might get away with none. It seemed only natural that women should be the ones to "hold the reins" in terms of family planning.
However, in this day and age of DNA testing and child support, generally men can't shirk their financial responsibilities toward their children. It's easy to see why men may want to have more responsibility for preventing pregnancy, since they will end up helping to provide for the child no matter what.
Even in more traditional situations when men "stick around," it can be argued that the modern dad has been given enough child-rearing responsibilities (think occasional diaper changes, helping with night awakenings, etc.) to want to avoid unintentional pregnancies. Yes, the bulk of the responsibility still lies with women in most cases, but it's likely that everyone can agree that modern men are held more accountable than men in the past.
Often, it's argued that birth control shouldn't be in the hands of men because they would deceive women and cause pregnancies the women didn't want. However, this concern goes both ways (women can lie about their birth control too). Here's how we see it: Think about your sons (or grandsons). Imagine them as teens and college-age guys. If they're having sex (which, let's face it, will probably be the case), wouldn't it be great if they had highly effective male birth control methods at their disposal so that they could greatly reduce the risk for pregnancy themselves, without having to rely on their partners to honestly and reliably use birth control?
However, as you'll see, most birth control methods for men are not extremely effective. They're all "low tech" and very, very old. While female birth control is fairly state-of-the-art, male birth control is still largely in the dark ages. Keep reading for a quick discussion of five commonly used birth control methods for men (given in no particular order).