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Birth Control For Men Edges Closer 407

Posted by Soulskill
from the having-trouble-getting-past-the-last-sentence dept.
ananyo writes "Developing oral contraceptives for men has not gone as swiftly as researchers imagined in the early 1970s; they suggested at the time that a 'male pill' was not far off. But researchers now report a new way to make male mice temporarily infertile. Although the treatment is not ready for human use, the method avoids some of the pitfalls of earlier attempts. The technique appears to have a much more specific action than previous methods: it impairs sperm production by blocking a protein called BRDT. This protein was singled out as a potential therapeutic target five years ago because it only occurs in the testes, where it is required for the division of sperm cells. If the approach proves safe in humans, it would be an improvement over hormone-based methods of male contraception, which are not completely effective and cause side effects such as mood swings, acne and a loss of libido (abstract). On the downside, however, the compound 'shrank the mice's testes.'"
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Birth Control For Men Edges Closer

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  • As if.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:23AM (#41043955)

    As if there is a single man in the world would would take a contraceptive that shrank their testes....

    I don't think this is close at all, more like a story of a drug with horrific side effects that thankfully they caught before human trials.

  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:29AM (#41043971)
    I have yet to meet a woman that finds big balls a turn on. As a man, you need big balls in the metaphorical rather than literal sense. The *real* question is, does it make you infertile over time.
  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:55AM (#41044075) Homepage

    I have yet to meet a woman that finds big balls a turn on

    Now that I think about it neither have I met anyone like that. Large, dangly balls tend to be quite nasty, in fact; it's usually the dangly thing ABOVE the balls that matters, not the balls themselves. I've never understood why men believe large balls are somehow attractive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @06:02AM (#41044107)

    Actually, the problem is that it will reduce the need for condoms. Getting some deadly STD is a lot more life changing then an unplanned pregnancy. Especially in today's society when single parents are quite common.

  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @06:06AM (#41044131)

    Are you qualified to comment, with your username?

  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @06:09AM (#41044143)

    What is this, this putting his wallet in involuntarily? Are you talking about the woman getting pregnant and the man having to pay child support? Well... um, if the man in this hypothetical situation was raped for that there sperm, then sure--he shouldn't pay a red cent. If he wasn't, then he needs to re-enroll in his sixth grade health class to learn that when you stick your junk in a vagina, it may produce a pregnancy.

    Seriously. This argument is so old and so tiresome. If you get a woman pregnant, that's your kid. You need to take care of your kid. Is that too hard a concept to grasp?

  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @06:19AM (#41044191)
    Gotta wonder how much of an asshole you are in person so that you only find girls like that who would endure staying in a room with you. Oh wait, you are just a misogynist idiot and your stories are mostly anally extracted...
  • by diakka (2281) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @06:37AM (#41044251)

    It's estimated that 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Really, every child should be wanted by both parents. Willing parents are the best parents. If this world only had children that were wanted, the quality of child rearing that each child gets is going to be far better. Population explosion could possibly come under control as well.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:05AM (#41044587)

    +1 on your post. It is just as important for men to have control over reproduction- modern society demands they are 50% liable for children (with which I do agree).

    I would only add that there should also be no financial rewards to women having children, making sure it is the CHILDREN that are wanted, not the money from the government (yes, this is a big problem with certain socioeconomic populations).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:12AM (#41044609)

    unplanned does not mean unwanted but you are in big part right.

  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:28AM (#41044719)

    Sorry, that still doesn't make you qualified. There's a large discrepancy between how your "friends and relatives" will tell you how they feel and how they actually DO feel. When a story related to breasts or vaginas comes up, feel free to comment.

  • by causality (777677) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:37AM (#41044771)

    Well, of course our experience would differ - we are very different people clearly, with very different search criteria. Let's say you look for girls of type U. Since girls of type T and V are similar, you'll dismiss all other girls, but you'll end up having to look closer at girls in the group TUV in order to find the ones that match best - the Us. Meanwhile I look for girls of type maybe I'm looking for type V, but since type U and W have similar characteristics, I dismiss all other girls and end up looking closer at girls in the group UVW. And thus there are girls I look at that you never meet, and girls you look at that I never meet. Because we dismiss them offhand due to other more immediate reasons.

    Of course more likely you look for girls in the group ABC and I look in the group XYZ, but that's largely another story. Even in my subset these women are not the majority, but since they WILL lie and deceive to get their goals, they are over-represented in the girls that get past the first checks and balances.

    So getting a vasectomy for me was a simple choice and an easy solution. I don't want to procreate, and telling girls that up front had no result. But telling them up front that I've had a vasectomy and CAN NOT procreate, well that is a new check that weeds out any of these crazies quickly, efficiently, and decisively.

    And you can call me an ass-hole all you want, I still say Tacitus is overrated. :P

    It's a typical double-standard like several we have regarding women. It's because we don't really want to think of them as equals, we want to think of them as more than equal to prove what a knight in shining armor we are.

    A woman who plans for her future, protects herself from risks she does not want to take, and won't let a man take advantage of her is a strong woman.

    A man who plans for his future, protects himself from risks he does not want to take, and won't let a woman take advantage of him .. well that guy's an asshole.

    That's the double standard. I say let them call you an asshole. No man should be tricked into being a father. It should be an equal, bilateral decision.

  • by yndrd1984 (730475) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:52AM (#41044869)

    You'd probably run into this problem much less if you quit being a misogynist.

    I always love how some people are adamant advocates of equality between the sexes, but still think that treating men and women equally is misogynistic.

  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:09AM (#41044945)

    Yes. Smaller target for a knee, less sagging over time. I'd go for that. Sure, if they shriveled up like peanuts that might be a different story but say a 25-50% reduction. I'd be ok with that if that was the only side-effect and the procedure was reversible, from the fertility perspective.

  • by yndrd1984 (730475) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:43AM (#41045111)

    How is suggesting that women bear full financial responsibility for a child advocating equality?

    My body implies that it's my choice which implies that it's my responsibility. Without the third part you aren't treating women like adults.

    And while making her solely responsible might seem like overkill, it can't be any more absurd than holding him equally responsible for something he has much less control over.

  • by Sqreater (895148) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:59AM (#41045219)

    Women, who now have essentially the ability to get pregnant when they want to, will have to ask a man for permission to become pregnant, maybe even beg for permission to be a mother. Do they actually understand the shift in reproductive power that unthinking feminists have been pushing for for so long? Do they realize they lose control of their own pregancies? No more Tom Brady and Giselle kinda thing. No more babies by philandering pretty-boy candidates. No more rock star accidents. No more (oops) having that second child because you want one and hubby maybe isn't so keen. And can a silly woman who depends on a man to take his pill trust him to do so? No. Think of pregnancy as revenge etc., an act of aggression. Male contraception empowers men in a way that women may not find so "fair." Nobody really knew the society-wide changes female contraception would bring starting in the 1960s. Perhaps we are not really projecting the changes easy male contraception in pill form will bring in the future as its benefits to men become widely perceived by them.

  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:34AM (#41045959)

    One time discomfort? What do you think boobs are, detachable?

    And seriously, I don't know what your mom or girlfriend or babysitter did to you, but your martyr complex needs some attention. Do you honestly think all women get by on their looks and bodies, even when it comes to jobs (that, might I add, women get paid less than men in most cases, even when they work just as hard) and working on relationships? That's a crock. Maybe SOME do, but tons of men are just as asshole-y.

    I've worked hard for everything I have. I made the right choices in almost every area, and while life isn't perfect, I'm not about to blame an entire race, sex or demographic for the crap in my life. I could sit here myself and complain, whine and make blanket statements about men, how my daddy cheated on my mom, broke up their marriage then left us in the lurch never paying a cent for my upbringing, or how half the guys I tried dating were only in it for the sex, whatever else. But... see, I don't do that. I'd rather take a scientific view, wherein I don't judge an entire people based on a small, insignificant set of personal experiences. Try doing that for yourself.

  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:57AM (#41046165)

    Of course she needs to take care of her kid. And single mothers who don't have the dads stick around DO. Are you saying they don't? Saying that it's a 50/50 deal makes me misandric? I'd say the opposite. Children need a father in their lives, imho, and the world would be a better place if more men stepped up to the plate. it's *getting* better, but it needs work.

    I don't know what women you've met in life, but I assure you, I ain't one of them. Neither are many. Have you ever thought that your selection and choices are messed-up and you're honing in on the WRONG chicks? I hooked up with a great guy, a real, 100% geek, while nearly all of my friends decided to moon over the Bad Boys. I get jealous looks from them, especially from the single mother demographic, but I don't say, "Yea, men are assholes," but "Well, you made the choices."

  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:12PM (#41046817)

    The only way I would agree with you is if it was decided beforehand that she WOULD have an abortion if she got pregnant. I mean... honestly, do you understand what most women go through in having an abortion? It's not a flippant contraceptive, but something that can destroy you mentally, emotionally, etc.

    I'm being serious now, really, because the two options you have here is something that involves instant gratification: "abort the baby, done," and "she had the kid, I'm outta here." Do you understand how either one of those can affect you later on in life? Do you really and truly understand that 18 years later, you're going to be loathed and reviled by the person you fathered, or that maybe, just maybe, you might regret the abortion? It's not to say "THIS WILL HAPPEN!" it's to actually think. I'm a scientist at heart, and calculate every single little thing, not just how I feel at this very moment.

    In the end, if you don't want a kid, don't have sex on the first date. Maybe not even on the second. Get to know the person you're interested in, let them know how you want things to go and see if you match. Not every woman is out to get you, you know. It's about being selective. I think this about friends of mine that hooked up with losers, thought they were great but ended up being abusive deadbeat-dads that won't take care of the kids they gave life to. I feel for them, but I went for the geeky guy all THEIR 'love interests' teased for playing violin instead of going to keg parties. "Well, you made your choice, even knowing what kind of person they were."

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:25PM (#41046919)

    Women, who now have essentially the ability to get pregnant when they want to...

    Wait, what? Women need someone having sex with them, unprotected sex to be specific, in order to get pregnant. It's covered in health class, right after the video on how to conduct testicular exams.

    ... will have to ask a man for permission to become pregnant, maybe even beg for permission to be a mother.

    The man already has effective birth control: It's called a condom. Remember that demonstration with the cucumber?

    Do they actually understand the shift in reproductive power that unthinking feminists have been pushing for for so long?

    Women have to carry the baby for 9 months. Men just have to give it a few thrusts and a little squirt. And societal expectations haven't changed on who's responsible for junior either: A man running away from his parental responsibilities is common and tolerated. A woman who does this is shamed by her family and friends. And if both parents abandon their responsibilities, the child is usually raised by the women in the woman's family.

    Think of pregnancy as revenge etc., an act of aggression.

    Right... she held you down and rode your dick, then stuck you with child support. And all the other times she didn't, and you had a chance to put on a condom...?

    Male contraception empowers men in a way that women may not find so "fair."

    The condom empowers men too. Nobody considers it unfair.

    Perhaps we are not really projecting the changes easy male contraception in pill form will bring in the future as its benefits to men become widely perceived by them.

    I doubt the pill will bring about any real social change; There's already effective male birth control, it's called a condom. Men don't want to wear it. Giving them more choices in birth control won't result in a significant change; A lot of men will then not wear a condom or take the pill or get their tubes tied. Giving people options doesn't make them more responsible. Male birth control won't cause a paradigm shift. If you ask me, it'll just be more evidence of what those feminists you seem to hate so much have been saying all along: Until social expectations of men and women are the same, any observations we make on the difference in behavior between men and women will continue to reflect our own prejudices.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:28PM (#41046933) Homepage Journal

    So what's your standard for manhood, then? Mine involves concepts like "keeping your word," "standing up for what's right," and "taking care of your family," and it's hard to see how a minivan or a vasectomy interferes with any of those things. But maybe you're using some different set of criteria.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:33PM (#41046955) Homepage Journal

    Try being a man in a job interview and having to rely solely on merit and get back to me. Try being a man and getting out of a traffic ticket and get back to me. Try being a man and actually having to take some risk and do some work just to have a relationship, let alone a good one.

    Despite presumably being a biologically adult male human being, you've clearly never actually been a man yourself. Why don't you try it and get back to us before you start telling others what it's like.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:48PM (#41048723)

    If he wasn't, then he needs to re-enroll in his sixth grade health class to learn that when you stick your junk in a vagina, it may produce a pregnancy.

    Seriously. This argument is so old and so tiresome. If you get a woman pregnant, that's your kid. You need to take care of your kid. Is that too hard a concept to grasp?

    That's just it. He didn't 'get her pregnant.' Both of them got her pregnant. So, if she's going to have the unilateral say in taking the fetus to term, then, by default, she should be solely responsible for it. With power comes responsibility, with no power, comes none. Ideally, she should have to enter into a contract with him (or get married) for financial support/fatherhood, but otherwise he should have the same right of refusal she does. This keeps the table balanced and encourages children only when both parents are truly ready to be parents, financially and mentally. It prevents her from using the kid as a battering ram to get him to commit when he's clearly not ready to, which happens a lot in today's society. This would eliminate a ton of highschoolesque melodrama that surrounds pregnancy today. Dr Phil would go out of business which would be a benefit to everyone..

    The rules you're conforming to come from a time when women didn't have a choice. It was fair as women, especially pregnant ones, weren't allowed to work all that much and were very dependent on men for support. Today, things are very different, and it's about time that women gave up the privileges of chattel status if they want out of it.

    sorry, I shouldn't have broken my statement into two posts, but it happens.. there's another reply somewhere on this poor excuse for code

  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:03PM (#41050179)

    I don't see how my saying that a man should support his child means that I think total absolutes about women getting everything they want with no accountability. I'm honestly trying to find the words to say to this, because I'd said I wasn't going to say anything else (I've raped this topic comments-wise today), so I want to make everything clear in these "final words". Or what I HOPE are final...

    Never once have I said anything about women getting everything and men getting nothing, but that doesn't seem to matter; to some men, it seems that anytime someone brings up a disadvantage in the 'Woman's World', they jump up and start pointing fingers, saying "we have it bad, too!" What's funny is that while I have a small feminist side, I see the bullshit that goes on on my side of the court. I could give examples, but I've been too wordy already. Fact is, I try my best to be a reasonable, well-rounded and deep-thinking individual. I can shoot off the mouth and be opinionated, but if no one did that, there wouldn't be anything interesting on the internet.

    We DO have a little more responsibility. And in a lot of cases, that's what fucks us up the ass without the benny of a reach-around. We're damned if we do, damned if we don't. If you're a pregnant teenager, some schools will try to bar you from attending but let the baby-daddy (gah, hate using that, but it seems right here, dunno why) roam the halls without repercussion. If we choose to abort when the man doesn't want us to, we're baby-killing bitches. If we choose to keep the baby, we're money-hungry bitches. If we choose to not have sex on the first or second date, we're labelled prudes. If we DO have sex on the first or second date, we're sluts. We do have options, and we DON'T have options, simply because we can be vilified for any one of them. Saying this, I'm not trying to play the tearful, "WOE IS ME, I'M A WOMAN!" card, it is what it is. How do we win? Give the man the decision entirely? Compromise, when it's already too hot to touch? What about the families on both sides, do they have a say? I DO side with women on this issue a little more, yes, because the products of both abortion and pregnancy will stay with her forever. I know the latter well; I had to have a c-section, because my son was born at 11.6 pounds, no lie. I've never recovered from it, even when I joined a gym and went through serious fitness and dieting routines. I'd never take it back, however. All this doesn't mean the man doesn't get a say in what happens, but it IS hard to say how it's finalized, as yes, the woman is the most affected. Sorry... you might not like it as a man, but it's just fact. Sometimes I don't like it either, because I'm a person who wants to be completely impartial, even in things like this. But I always keep coming back to the "who's affected the most by this?" point.

    The best solution is what a lot of men (and some women) do not want to hear: this can allllll be avoided in NOT having sex with someone on the first, second or even third date. This goes for both sexes. If Jane and Joe have sex on the first date and Jane gets pregnant, neither one of them can bitch about the decisions being made on either side, whether or not the woman's insisting on it being her way. If Jane got to know Joe, she'd learn he didn't want kids and would want an abortion be done and nothing but. If Joe got to know Jane, he'd learn that she didn't want an abortion, even if it was with some guy she just met. Would this seriously kill anyone? I'm not talking "Wait for marriage," crap, just KNOW the person you're going to sleep with before you sleep with them. Neither side can feign ignorance. And it doesn't even have to be a two-hour lecture on 'Why Joe Doesn't Want Kids: Part VII, Money'... just, "Not without a condom--too young for kids *wink*" or the like.

    It's not hard. In the end, it's 50/50, because someone else isn't responsible for another person, no matter how deceitful the man or woman may be. If a man has sex (especially unprotected sex, taking her word tha

  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Monday August 20, 2012 @12:30AM (#41051027)

    Don't you love it when a new, wonderful and advance in science is reduced to "YEA! Now we can get even with the wimmins for all those RIGHTS they have!" with these guys? It's not about, "Nice, now I can control what my body does and what it WON'T do, preventing unwanted pregnancies." No. It's an immediate, ill-perceived tool of revenge.

    I'm just gonna say it, cos' I've had it: to those guys, with all your accusations and revenge tactics? We don't want to be pregnant with your kid. Sorry to disappoint, but we're not all lining up for your DNA like you think we are. It's like being scared of a gay guy cos' he's gonna check you out--the assumption that you're worth being checked-out makes most of them laugh.

  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Monday August 20, 2012 @12:58AM (#41051169)
    Men are legally financially responsible for any child they generate if the woman chooses to press the point. In many states, women can dump their kids off at any number of places and be 100% clear of any responsibility for them. Women can choose to get an abortion and avoid further responsibility as well. Men do not have that option.

    You must have missed the last 3 decades. Our culture has already changed.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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