Continuing our series sharing the thoughts and perspectives MCI staff has on male contraception, we sat down with our Program Coordinator Jaylan Weaver to hear his thoughts. Jaylan initially joined MCI as an undergraduate fellow, so he brings a unique perspective to a topic that means so much to all of us. In this post, he shares his motivations for working at Male Contraceptive Initiative as well as his thoughts about male contraception.
What do you think about male contraception?
From what I have learned working with MCI, I think that male contraception is an important tool for people that want more control over their reproductive lives. The possibility that a man can still enjoy all the pleasurable feelings associated with sex while using a contraceptive choice that eliminates any likelihood of an unwanted pregnancy and simultaneously protects him from sexually transmitted diseases is groundbreaking and fascinating. I find it invigorating that people are willing to research new ways to involve men in contraception.
I think most people can support contraceptive choices that do not present physical barriers to pleasure, are effective, safe to use. Male contraception is a concept that should be met with enthusiasm by anybody that wants to enjoy sex without the risks associated with the act. I think a widely accepted and safe contraceptive option for men (that is not a condom or a vasectomy) is one thing that sexually active people will not know they need until they have it.
What motivated you to work at MCI? What do you hope to accomplish at MCI?
The main thing that motivated me to work at MCI is the opportunity to contribute to an organization that positively impacts my professional development. The idea of male contraception is a fairly new thing to me, but it’s something that I can support wholeheartedly.
After interning with MCI at the end of my undergraduate career, I feel that I have made genuine personal connections with each staff member. I could not think of a better place to begin my professional career as a health educator than working alongside a group of people that are cheerful and passionate about the work that they do. Male contraceptives are something most sexually active people can find a use for and I think MCI is the perfect organization to bring the concept to the public.
During my time at MCI I hope to contribute to the organization’s growth and development. I hope to use the skills that I have learned to aid MCI in funding research and advocating for male contraceptives. I plan to offer my perspective and ideas in different ways that facilitate new methods for problem solving. Ultimately, I want my time at MCI to be spent encouraging people who are unaware of male contraceptives to be open minded. I hope that the work I do at MCI can enlighten someone on the importance of different contraceptive choices for men. Also, I hope to be able to show people that there are better ways to ensure your reproductive health without having to sacrifice the pleasures of sex.
What are some things that you wish everyone knew about male contraception?
Some things I wish people knew about male contraception are that people are working on new ways to create contraceptives for men that are not condoms or vasectomies. I wish people knew how impactful it could be having different effective male contraceptives. I hope people come to learn the intentions of those who are creating and advocating for male contraceptives. I wish that everyone knew that male contraceptives could change their sexual and reproductive lives for the better. Also, I wish everyone knew how challenging the process of developing a contraceptive method for commercial use is.
What impact do you think new male methods of contraception will have on the world?
Some recent studies have shown that millennials are having less sex than the generations before them. I do not believe it is out of the realm of possibility to hypothesize that new methods of contraception can have a change in young people’s sexual attitudes and behaviors. I think new contraceptive methods that are safe, effective, and affordable are tools that most sexually active people can find useful. I can imagine a large majority of people supporting a male contraceptive method that fits all their needs and is readily available.
I think having new methods of male contraception will positively impact people’s sexual lives. I can see men enjoying the fact they aren’t strictly bound to the infamous condom or an almost irreversible surgical procedure as their only methods for preventing a pregnancy. I think men will feel good that somebody is taking time to care for the specific needs that they may not have known they had with regards to contraceptive use, and I feel that women will enjoy being able to rely on their partners to contracept. Both men and women have a lot to gain with the implementation of new male contraceptive methods.
We will continue sharing more perspectives from our team, our grantees, and members of the general public moving forward. Want to lend your voice to the conversation? Reach out to us and share your thoughts today!