The male pill, or the long-awaited Grail. A team of scientists declared last March that they had developed a hormone-free male contraceptive pill that was 99% effective in mice. Although none are yet ready to be put on the market, 20 Minutes, we like to dream. And we pushed the reasoning a little further.
On the occasion of World Contraception Day this Tuesday, we asked ourselves a question: if an effective male pill were created, would women abandon their IUD, their implant or their own pill? According to the responses to our call for evidence, nothing is less certain.
The fear of getting pregnant if you forget
For some women who responded to us, giving up their own contraception will mainly depend on the type of contraception taken by their man. “If what is offered to my partner is a daily pill, I will not give up my contraception, for fear that he will forget it and that in the end, it will be my body that pays the price,” confides Aude , 55 years. On the other hand, if it was an implant or any other means without daily management, I would clearly stop my contraception. »
But that’s not all. “The question of trust is also very much linked to gendered socialization. Women, from their first period, learned that they could have a child and that they had to be careful, analyzes the socioanthropologist. Often, their mother takes them to the gynecologist to take the pill and then they often return there every two years. This is not the case for men. For them, the child’s question is disembodied. »
This fear of forgetting seems omnipresent among the testimonies received. “I could never completely trust my partner, who constantly forgets his keys or his papers,” regrets Alice, 45 years old. Because if the pill is not ingested, only one of the two stomachs will become rounded. “How can you trust someone who will not fully suffer the consequences of forgetting? », insists the forty-year-old. According to Alexandra Afsary, socioanthropologist and scientific collaborator at the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, “this lack of confidence is particularly linked to gender stereotypes, in which women are more responsible and men are more impulsive. »
A baby “in the back”
But forgetting is not the only fear of women who choose to continue their own contraception. Solenn, 30 years old, would be especially afraid that a man would lie to her by falsely claiming to take the pill. “I would still continue my birth control to control what might happen. Because a baby behind my back would be a baby in my stomach, with all the consequences that entails in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. » A vision shared by the socioanthropologist. “Contraception in the hands of women is above all a power. The fact that men use contraception should not take away from women their free choice. »
Is the question above all that of the type of relationship in which we find ourselves? Virginie, 47, makes a big distinction between a companion and a one-night stand. “For casual relationships, condoms are required, to avoid getting pregnant but also to preserve my health. » On the other hand, she would happily let her partner take responsibility for contraception. “I would rather like it if it was shared. »
The male pill is the “dream of many women”, according to Marina, 33 years old. “We have to manage contraception, periods, pregnancies, childbirth, in short, everything that concerns medical matters. » So she would happily let her man take his little daily tablet. For her, the excuse of forgetting is not valid because “a woman can also forget. »
The belt and suspenders
And some women are more mixed. “Two contraceptions are better than one or none at all,” considers Amira, 45 years old. Same speech for Solenn, 30 years old, seeing in it “double security for women. » “It’s better to have too much than too little.” »
Alexandra Afsary plussilk. According to the socioanthropologist, contraception should not be seen as a unilateral means. “This is the case today, because the contraception that exists on the market is exclusively intended for women, but it is recent in terms of the history of contraception. Before these medical methods, contraception was a couple’s business. Contrary to what one might believe, the decline in the birth rate began before the pill was authorized, with methods such as the calendar or withdrawal. [efficace à seulement 73 % en pratique, on le rappelle, contre 92 % pour la pilule et 99,8 % pour le stérilet, selon l’OMS]. »
So, what to do? Alexandra Afsary advocates individual responsibility. “If a man does not want children, he must also take responsibility. This will involve different socialization but also less gendered sexual education with the question of condoms reserved for men and that of contraception for women. » A vision shared by Alice, 45 years old. “Men of my generation have never been used to taking responsibility on this subject. Perhaps the next generations will understand the importance of this sharing, it is up to us to explain it to our children. » The message got through.
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