A writer from Details.com recently did a story on a new phenomenon in society’s sexual health denial saga–men who would rather get a vasectomy than wear a condom or trust that their partner is on the pill.
Check out this excerpt from the article:
Sex scared Marcus Whitlock. It was a tense, fraught ordeal. He couldn’t get through it without being gripped by panic that it would lead to pregnancy. Then one day in April, Whitlock, an athletic 23-year-old college student in Illinois, says he walked into a doctor’s office, told the receptionist he was 30, and had an hour-long consultation. A week or so later he returned, paid $850, and walked out after a 15-minute vasectomy. The way Whitlock saw it, he was free. He wouldn’t have to worry anymore about whether his partner was on birth control.
About a hundred years ago, slash and yanks—so called because the original method involved cutting the scrotum and pulling out as much of the vas deferens tubing as possible before stitching it back up—were used mainly as supposed cures for tuberculosis and as part of eugenic schemes to sterilize men who were labeled crooks, cripples, or crazies. Even much later, after a less invasive no-scalpel technique was introduced in the United States in the mid-eighties, the surgery was considered an extreme measure. 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,” 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.” The guy who views a vasectomy as a preemptive strike looks at certain tabloid stories through a twisted lens: When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady broke up with the actress Bridget Moynahan in 2006 and she announced shortly thereafter that she was having his child, this guy thought to himself, Sucker. He also likes to relate the story of Anna Cladakis, a Hooters promoter from Florida in her late thirties who’s collecting $7,500 a month until the 18th birthday of the child she had by one of the founders of Outback Steakhouse. And if he had it handy, he’d point to a statistic like this one from a 2006 report by the Guttmacher Institute, a national think tank that focuses on reproductive issues: 3.1 million pregnancies—nearly half of all in the United States—are accidental.
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?
Read the full article over at Details.