As a bioethicist, Lisa Campo-Engelstein works with people from different areas of expertise to examine the ethical considerations in medicine. More specifically, her work aims to improve women’s lives by exploring new contraceptive options.
We’ve been hearing the buzz about the coming of male contraceptive for years and years. It’s hard to be hopeful in this matter when, as a society, we haven’t overcome a much more basal issue at hand:
“Contraception is seen as ‘women’s work’ and therefore some view the idea of male contraceptives as emasculating,” said Lisa when we asked of the crux of this problem. It is the assumption of pharmaceutical companies that men are not keen on taking the contraceptive pill and that women would not trust men. This belief results in a lack of much-needed funding for avenues like research and development.
However, it is not as severe as it appears to be. Empirical research has proven that given the option, many men are interested in taking contraceptives. Women are also open to the idea and trust their monogamous partners.
Lisa remains hopeful despite the naysayers. The world has continued to bend without breaking— gender norms are shifting, with men taking more responsibilities for childcare and unpaid house labour (like laundry and making meals). Soon enough, the idea of new forms of male contraceptives won’t seem as radical.
“My wish would be for gender equality as well as equality based on other social factors.”