Vasectomies snip out common sense

Trumpeting the sexual liberation of libidinous 20-something men everywhere, this Details magazine puff piece on penis snipping is long on pregnancy paranoia and short on personal responsibility.

But lately, vasectomies are becoming the province of young, single men who claim to be tired of worrying about their partners’ vigilance with the Pill. So rather than use condoms — less than ideal in terms of pleasure and, compared with vasectomies, which have an estimated 1 in 2,000 failure rate, only so-so on the contraception front — they’re opting for a permanent fix.


"Now I can never have a girl say I made her pregnant," [23-year-old college student Marcus] Whitlock says. "I don’t have to worry about being tricked."


Or "oopsed," as some advocates of vasectomy put it — as in "Oops, I guess that was a breath mint, not a birth-control pill."




But men opting to get vasectomies before the age of 40 aren’t motivated only by an irrational fear of sneak pregnancies. They’re also spurred by a philosophical argument: Why should women be in control of when—and if—they have children?


"A guy can tell an angry grandfather-to-be ‘Look, here’s money to take care of this at the clinic right now instead of dealing with this mistake for 18 years,’" says Doug Stein, a doctor in Florida who has performed more than 17,000 vasectomies over the past 30 years. "But only the woman’s opinion matters. And some guys are sick of that."

Note the sexist and condescending phrasing: confusing candy for contraceptives and referring to fathering a child borne out of wedlock as "dealing with this mistake." Lovely.


The readers of this tripe, much to their credit, do take the writer to task in the blog comments for failing to mention the far greater threat of these newly-liberated, blank-shooting, condom-less young men: the risk of spreading sexually transmitted infections to unsuspecting partners.


Replacing the tense "oops, honey, I’m pregnant" conversation with the far more life-threatening "oops, honey, I gave you HIV" admission is hardly an evolutionary step in responsible sexuality when chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphillis and other STIs are on the rise.


But leave it to the popular media, like Details, which seems as hellbent on being as vacuous as Cosmo magazine in doling out bad relationship advice. Here’s a free tip, fellas. Sexually healthy women don’t play head games around something as serious as making babies and they don’t keep their birth control pills in cute little metal pop-top containers in their purses.

h/t Feminist Law Professors blog

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Wendy Norris

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