Understanding people’s perspectives around male contraception helps guide our work at MCI. Sharing them is a privilege as well as a mandate: it’s of strategic importance to us to facilitate and broadcast the interest for male methods in an effort to present the undeniable market demand for them. Normally this is done through the lens of our grantees, fellows, research community, or even the general public. But lately, we’ve been endeavoring to share the views of MCI’s staff as well. In that spirit, this is a conversation with our Program & Communications Coordinator Sabey Boswell in which she shares her thoughts about male contraception as well as her interest in working with MCI.
What do you think about male contraception?
I think male contraception is incredible! It provides a way for people to have more power over their lives and be more intentional in their reproductive choices. Individuals should be able to choose when or if to have children, and male contraceptive options allow individuals and couples additional ways to accomplish that.
What motivated you to work at MCI? What do you hope to accomplish at MCI?
I was drawn to MCI as I believe that all individuals should have the resources necessary to take charge of their reproductive health and take part in family planning. I was also sick of the burden of pregnancy prevention and family planning falling only on individuals with uteruses. I myself have experienced painful side effects from birth control, and received a bill for my contraceptives only to think that that was the only option if I was not ready to have children yet. However, that shouldn’t be the only option. I believe that sperm producers want to be more involved in family planning than they are given credit for, and there is plenty of evidence to support that.
During my time at MCI, I hope to get more people talking about male contraception through communication and advocacy work. I believe the younger generation is looking for ways to have reproductive autonomy, and I want to connect them with MCI’s vision and mission to excite them about what’s in store for the future of contraception. I also look forward to building connections and learning from the many brilliant individuals working in this field.
What are some things that you wish everyone knew about male contraception?
I wish that people understood this isn’t a movement to stop men from reproducing, but rather a time to empower individuals, partnerships, and families to make intentional choices about their reproductive health. Providing people with more options for birth control can allow individuals to continue their education, further their careers, and start a family; when they choose to.
What impact do you think new male methods of contraception will have on the world?
I think new male methods of contraception will have an incredible influence on the world. Obviously, it can impact the amount of unintended pregnancies, which can improve the health of people who no longer have to carry pregnancies that too often have a negative effect on their physical and mental health. I think male contraception will also improve equality in partnerships as couples and families will be able to discuss options of birth control outside of what we are used to today. It will no longer be the mental, physical, and financial burden of the person with the uterus alone, but their partner will be able to step up to take part in family planning. I believe this will change how families and couples interact, their relationships with one another, and show future generations the significance of 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!