A Pill for Men?
As new methods of contraception developed during the 1960s, the time-honored method of male condom use decreased. Because new contraceptives were primarily for women, birth control became a feminine imperative and responsibility. This attitude was challenged by the development of an effective male birth-control pill. One social and one medical problem led to the abandonment of the technique.
The male pill was developed from research on diamines, protein compounds to combat amoebic intestinal infections. During animal testing it was discovered that diamines arrested maturation of the sperm in males, making them sterile. Dr. Carl Heller of the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation decided to shift the focus of his research to contraception. He tested the diamines on thirty-nine male convicts at the Oregon State Penitentiary. By taking a pill daily, they stopped producing sperm, he found. There...
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