Discussion: Birth Control

Before the sexual revolution initiated by ‘the pill,’ men were a more integral part of family planning and other reproductive health concerns than they are today. If a couple wished to use contraception, their options were limited primarily to methods requiring a man’s participation – withdrawal, periodic abstinence, or condoms. Hormonal methods for women, beginning with the first oral contraceptives in 1960, and the subsequent development of intrauterine devices and modern surgical sterilization, led to the development of a family planning services community focused on women, often to the exclusion of men.

Today’s challenge, as expressed by the

(ICPD) held in Cairo, is to enhance male responsibility for family planning by expanding services in ways that protect the reproductive health of both men and women, and by encouraging greater sensitivity to gender issues.

The objective is to promote gender equality in all spheres of life, including family and community life, and to encourage and enable men to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive behaviour and their social and family roles. (Programme of Action, 1994, p. 36).

For this discussion, you are to explain how hormonal contraceptives physiologically affect or could potentially affect:

  • Women
  • Additionally, describe and explain your views on contraceptives for both men and women. Do you agree with the statement expressed by the ICPD? Why or why not? Be sure to use and reference outside resources.

Word Count: 300 words minimum

Optional References: