April 21, 2017

AMANDA MARCOTTE: Women still do most of the work in preventing pregnancy — does it have to be that way?

Women, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research has shown, are expected to do the majority (and often all) the work required so that heterosexual couples can have sex without making babies.

In a paper titled “More Than a Physical Burden: Women’s Mental and Emotional Work in Preventing Pregnancy,” sociologist Katrina Kimport — who works as an associate professor at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco — documented the way that women are tasked with the majority of physical work required to prevent pregnancy and also expected to do most of the emotional and mental labor as well.

“While the biotechnological landscape of available methods may explain the assignment of the physical burden for contraception to women,” Kimport wrote, “this does not mean the concomitant time, attention, and stress that preventing pregnancy requires must also be primarily assumed by women.”

Until medicine advances far enough to give us that elusive “pill for men,” it seems that Marcotte believes women are too emotionally fragile to be accountable for their own uteri.