Gathering and sharing the perspectives of those working in the male contraception field and general public is a communications and advocacy imperative at Male Contraceptive Initiative. It is critical to our mission that we seed and share conversations around the need and demand for novel methods of male contraception in order to ensure there is grassroots support while the work takes place to move these potential products from mere ideas to market realities.
The unfortunate reality is that the methods we are supporting will take at least another 10 years of research and testing before making it to market. Given the necessary constraints required to ensure that products are safe and effective, there are limitations to how much we can accelerate the development timelines. However, we can’t be deterred by this timeline — waiting will only cause further delays in achieving a goal that has been more than sixty years in the making. As Male Contraceptive Initiative’s Dr. Logan Nickels often says, “we’ve been 10 years away from a male contraceptive for the past 50 years.”
Given these extended timelines, maintaining people’s interest and attention is a challenge that we wrestle with every day at Male Contraceptive Initiative. However, as we learned in our inaugural ideation event, every challenge can be reframed as an opportunity. And leaning on the human-centered approach inherent to that ideation event, we make a concerted effort to use our communications channels as platforms for individuals to share their perspectives. In so doing, we meaningfully shift away from simply pushing information out to the world to an approach in which we actively co-create content with those willing to contribute.
This process is clearly valuable to us as a means of creating and sharing content that helps promote our organization and the field of male contraceptive more broadly, but our focus on engagement and co-creation goes far beyond that: it also allows us to develop a better understanding of what potential consumers are looking for, as well as how people think about male contraception. This information not only demonstrates a demand for male methods, but assists in developing products that are better suited to the needs of consumers (In fact, we shared a post detailing this using one of our surveys as the foundation for research).
The global networks offered through social media provide a unique opportunity for organizations like Male Contraceptive Initiative to drastically expand our reach in order to connect and engage with people. We utilize our Instagram, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Facebook channels to do just that. We seek to actively share messages that clarify the misperceptions that men are not interested in male contraception and that women would not trust their partners to use male contraception. By building this groundswell of support and empowering people to share their perspectives, we illustrate the demand and make a powerful case for investment in male contraceptive research and development.
With this in mind, we encourage you to contact us and lend your voice to the cause today! We are especially interested in hearing from those aged 15-24 as we prepare for National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month; for those interested, please take a few minutes to fill out this survey.
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