Would British men be willing to take hormonal contraception?

Joanna MorrisData Journalist
April 14, 2023, 8:40 AM GMT+0

About as many men say the would be likely to take hormonal contraception as the number of women who currently do so – but many are pre-emptively ruling it out

It may not be long before men may finally be able to rely on something other than their partner, condoms or vasectomies for effective contraception, with scientists saying recent studies on mice are a promising step towards a male contraceptive pill.

According to the ONS, 99% of babies born in England and Wales are to mothers aged 18-44. Among sexually active straight and bisexual women in this age group, 46% say they are currently on hormonal contraception.

Among sexually active straight and bisexual men in the same age group, a similar 52% say they would definitely or probably take hormonal contraception.

However, despite such contraception being purely hypothetical at this point for men, one in three in this group are pre-emptively ruling out its use, saying they probably (16%) or definitely (19%) wouldn’t take it. Among women, this attitude is rare, with only 4% expressing reluctance to use the pill.

Who should take responsibility for contraception in a relationship?

Three-quarters of Britons (77%), including 72% of men and 81% of women, think there should be equal responsibility between the genders for making sure appropriate contraception is used in a heterosexual relationship.

However, it seems equality of the sexes has not yet been achieved in this arena – 60% of the public believe women tend to make most responsibility in a heterosexual relationship, including 75% of women and 44% of men.

In comparison, just 2% believe men tend to take more responsibility currently.

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