This news is a few weeks old (I’ve been uncharacteristically busy lately), but for those of you who missed it, listen up. Researchers have stumbled on the fact that drugs used to treat hypertension and schizophrenia have the potential to become a male contraceptive pill.
It may actually be on the market some time in the next five years. Other than its capacity to alter the course of human history, reduce world poverty, and save the biodiversity of the planet, this really isn’t a big deal.
According this source:
The pill, a single dose taken a few hours before having sex, affects contraction of the muscles that control ejaculation, but wouldn’t interfere with performance or orgasm sensation, researchers at King’s College London say. The result is a dry ejaculation.
No, I don’t know what a dry ejaculation is, and I’m not sure I want to. If you click on the video at this site you will be forced to sit through an ad before being treated to a clip of Woody Allen running around in a sperm suit.
I am not in the habit of getting my news from the Christian Broadcasting Network, but they have a really interesting video clip on this subject as well. Is it just me, or does the announcer have an insane look in his eyes? Later in the clip you will also get to witness a professor’s brain shut down when a TV camera is pointed at it, and another guy who looks like Jim Carrey’s clone. I also found it interesting that an anti-abortion video followed on the heels of this one.
I wonder if the folks who run the Christian Broadcasting Network would support such a pill, considering that it has the potential to greatly reduce the 40 or so million abortions performed annually worldwide. On the other hand, it would tend to contradict their abstinence-only stance.
Why would this pill be a history-altering piece of technology? Fertility rates are already falling all over the planet. Conservatives have been writing books on the coming birth dearth for years and many governments (France, Italy, and Russia) are trying to bribe their women to have more babies.
The problem is that the fertility rates (number of births per woman) in some of the most poverty stricken areas of the world are still ballistic (Nigeria 7.8, Afghanistan 7.4, Uganda 7.1, Guinea 7.1, Congo 6.7). Although it is possible to reduce poverty with such high fertility rates, it is unlikely.
Note that many of these places also harbor much of the planet’s biodiversity. Birth rates are one of the reasons it has proven so difficult to light off strong economies, which would in turn help reduce growth rates (poverty reduction and low fertility rates beget each other). A critical mass can’t be attained unless a way can be found to help these people get a grip on fertility rates. Contraception simply does not exist in these rural places.
Impoverished people have no option but to convert biodiversity into food. Rich people have lots of other options. There is simply no reason not to try to reduce world poverty. It is one of those win-win situations.
One big concern related to such a pill would be sexually transmitted diseases. Would this pill increase the number of sex acts? Would a dry ejaculation (whatever the hell that is) reduce the risk of transmission?
Then come the usual questions about what motivates men. Would they forget to take it? Would they lie about having taken it? Would they want to take it? My opinion is that they would. In general (statistically speaking) guys want booty, not babies, and if they think that by taking the pill they will increase the chance of getting that, they will take it, in droves.
And finally, there is the question of endless economic growth tied to endless population growth. I’ve touched on this before. Intelligent, controlled immigration depopulates one country, maintains population in another, and fuels poverty reduction in both countries. There are billions of deeply impoverished people in the world ready to rise on up.
A reduction in world population is coming some day. It is something the world needs and it should not be feared. We should start warming up to the idea and maybe even look for ways to inch the day forward. It won’t be uncontroversial, human nature being what it is. Let the poor immigrate too and help maintain strong economies while allowing nature to heal the rural lands left behind.
I wrote about this a few years ago. You can go here to see my thoughts about it back then (chapter 10 in Volume I — fiction). It is also OK to pinch a copy of the PDF for future reference. Just don’t try to sell it to anyone (I own the copyright).