Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Contrary Contraception

Oh, how the sexual revolution continues to echo, empowering us, but forcing us to protect ourselves and advance our reproductive responsibilities with better technology. Yes, today is a time of modern choices, my sexually-active friends, but things are not exactly in equilibrium in the bedroom. Consider this recent article. The University of Utah has developed a novel "molecular condom against AIDS":


Basically, this is a potential product that a woman could use to coat the inside of her vagina with a thin layer of gel containing an anti-HIV drug. Upon insemination, the pH changes in the vagina causing the drug to be released and fight off any pesky HIV viruses, protecting at least 50% of the time (the future may bring a better percentage). The ingenuity of Science never ceases to arouse me! But wait, before we pat ourselves on the back (or any other area) for this marvel of reproductive science, let's back up a little, shall we?

First of all, let's consider something that is all too often overlooked: it's the woman who has the burden of responsibility here. Oh, sure, being the average sex-crazed male who can't find the responsibility to cut my toenails much less stop in the heat of the moment to put on a condom, I can sympathize with the idea that men should be able to sink their battleship without a care in the world. However, let me for a moment engage my feminine side long enough to point out that, short of sterilization, there is only one contraceptive designed for use by males: the condom, first used as long as 3000 years ago by the Egyptions. Women, on the other hand, have the Pill, the diaphragm, the female condom (which I call "pool liners"), hormone implants, hormone injections, IUDs, the "rhythm method", cervical caps ("shower caps"?), Plan B "morning after pills", and hormonal vaginal rings to consider, all of which require them to ingest, inject, or insert something in some form or fashion (with varying degrees of discomfort, safety, and, in some cases, training) and watch their cycles carefully. Having choices is a good thing, but do you notice that the list is a bit lopsided?

So, is the anti-HIV gel a good idea? Sure, provided women don't mind having their love ovens coated in goo all day, and provided they could actually afford the high cost of daily anti-HIV drugs. Maybe the men reading this blog will call me a traitor for suggesting this, but perhaps before we introduce yet another reproductive product that women have to shove into themselves we could instead find ways of placing the burden on the guys. Well, fellas, next time you want to free Willy, how would you like inserting something down there?

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Yay! A man who stands up for us women! I just started reading your blog and am enjoying every post! Keep it up! (No pun intended).