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Gender and Contraception

The latex condom was invented in 1912.  Since then, every contraceptive technology developed has placed the onus of contraception on women.


Female-Initiated Contraception

  • Oral Contraceptive Pill  

  • Hormonal Injection, Patches, Vaginal Rings  

  • Intrauterine Device / Intrauterine System  

  • Diaphragms, Sponges  

  • Implantable Hormonal Contraception  

  • Tubal Ligation  


Male-Initiated Contraception

  • Condoms  

  • Vasectomy  


Couple-Initiated Contraception

  • Rhythm  

  • Withdrawal


Despite this, 78% of men believe that men and women share equal responsibility for decisions about contraception, and 61% of men also believe that men and women have equal decision-making power when it comes to having sex.[1]  This creates a disconnect between the expectation of equal decision-making, and who has the burden of responsibility in practice.  For adolescent men, the only way to initiate contraception is through condom use.



1. Grady WR, Tanfer K, Billy JOG, Lincoln-Hanson J. “Men’s perceptions of their roles and responsibilities regarding sex, contraception, and childrearing” Family Planning Perspectives, 28:221–226, 1996

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