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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although women have many contraceptive options—gels, foams, pills, patches, rings, injections, subdermal implants, intrauterine devices, most with low failure rates and good reversibility—men have only the condom, withdrawal, and vasectomy, all with high failure rates or no guarantee of reversibility. This leaves men with unequal options for reproductive control, yet they may be held responsible for support of a child whether they wanted to reproduce or not. Five types of modern male contraception are now under development: they all raise issues of effectiveness, acceptability, and risk, but would give males far greater reproductive control. However, the common “one’s enough” assumption—that it is sufficient if either the male or the female contracepts—means that reproductive control could shift from females to males. “One’s enough” must be challenged in favor of “double coverage,” highly effective long-acting reversible contraception as routine for both parties, the nearest guarantee of female–male equality in reproductive control.

Keywords: contraception, equality, gender inequality, male contraception, child support, long-acting contraception, reversible contraception, LARC, contraception failure rates, reproductive control

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