Spread the word
The public has two crucial roles to play in speeding contraceptive development: first, spreading the word; and second, reminding policymakers that it is the public good, not profit potential, that must be first priority in determining the direction of taxpayer-funded research.
Though one would hope that the most promising method would be the one most studied, many factors serve to skew the distribution of research dollars in directions that are relatively less promising. Some of these factors include joint ventures with for-profit pharmaceutical companies; inertia; the lack of prestige associated with working on simpler methods; concerns about developing countries’ research standards; the funding priorities of large nonprofit foundations; personality factors; and finally, the information overload that make it impossible for any policymaker to keep up on everything. The public must counter these factors by speaking with a loud voice.
Researchers often complain of working in a vacuum. They seldom receive attention or encouragement from public interest groups, and their funders never hear from the public how important contraception is. When it comes time to hand out research money, research areas and diseases with a louder public constituency get the grants.
Concerned members of the public have many ways to make a difference:
- Send this link to friends and family.
- “Like” MCIP’s new page on Facebook. MCIP is entirely nonprofit.
- Print out paper copies of an online article about male contraception (suggestion: the ones on RISUG/Vasalgel and the Clean Sheets Pill at Techcitement.com). Give copies to doctors, friends, and the local Planned Parenthood.
- If you’re interested in RISUG or Vasalgel, join the RISUG/Vasalgel discussion group on Facebook.
- Sign up for our mailing list to receive e-mails when a study is looking for participants or a writer is looking for men and women to interview (see link at right).
- Talk about this information to friends and acquaintances who are writers or work in the media, and ask them if they would do a story on male contraception. MCIP provides all the contacts and research help they need to make their job easy.
With each year of delay on contraceptive development, more couples have an unwanted child or an abortion due to a condom failure; more children are born into permanent poverty; more women in developing countries die in childbirth; more women around the world become intimately familiar with hormonal side effects; and more men become economically responsible for another life before they are ready. The time to act is now.
Note 2016: Link broken? Doing historical research? Try the previous (2011) archived version of our site if you need a particular link or reference.