We continue sharing thoughts and perspectives from MCI staff members with this conversation with our Advocacy Strategist Kathryn Carpenter. Kathryn initially joined MCI as a Fellow from the UNC Gillings School of Public Health and now champions many of our advocacy efforts including the creation and management of MCI’s Youth Advisory Board. In this post, she shares her motivations for working at Male Contraceptive Initiative as well as her thoughts about male contraception.
What do you think about male contraception?
I'm excited for the opportunity for more people to have access to contraception that works for their bodies and relationships. I think more contraception for people who produce sperm is the obvious next step, and will be its own revolution in the way that the pill was.
What motivated you to work at MCI? What do you hope to accomplish at MCI?
I came to work at MCI to explore a new field within sexual and reproductive health. Male contraception presents an interesting health behavior change challenge across subsets of the population: researchers have to push it forward, the public has to maintain interest during that process, and ultimately, men have to take it and their partners have to trust them. I hope to do work that impacts these areas.
What are some things that you wish everyone knew about male contraception?
I wish the public knew that people want male contraception. I think the knee-jerk reaction is often "men won't use it" or "women won't trust men," but we know that's not actually true. I think we should definitely have conversations about trust and what methods work for whom, but when it comes down to it, if male contraception doesn't work for your relationship, you don't have to use it! It allows more options for people who need them.
What impact do you think new male methods of contraception will have on the world?
For me male contraception is just about more options. I'm excited for what it could do for gender and sexual minorities who are currently underserved. I'm excited for ciswomen to have the option to be able to contracept without taking contraception. And I want cismen to have reproductive autonomy.
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!