A recent ozy.com article notes that more women than ever – and, more significantly, way more women than men – are opting to undergo sterilization procedures. Rather than men subjecting themselves to a relatively benign snip, women are getting all tied up.
The article notes that in the 1970s, equal numbers of women and men were medically sterilized (Amy side note: A-ha! Here’s one more reason, in addition to the most stellar fashion ever, that the 1970s rule!).
Today, 17 percent of women undergo tubal ligation while a mere 6 percent of men undergo vasectomy.
What gives, men?
Perhaps you’re wondering why this matters. Well,
- Sterilization surgery is far more serious (read: more dangerous/more consequential/a bigger deal) for women than it is for men. Serious complications are more likely to occur with female sterilization than with male sterilization.
- For years, women have taken the lion’s share of responsibility for preventing pregnancy. If you really want to be in an equal partnership with your mate, why wouldn’t you want to share this important responsibility? (This fascinating study reveals there are socioeconomic factors that predict which partner gets sterilized. The researchers found that “white and socioeconomically privileged women are more likely to have vasectomized partners than disadvantaged women.”)
Ok, men. Perhaps you’re wondering what you can do.
If you and your female partner have decided there are no kids in your shared future, perhaps you could take one for the team and get the snip. If you have some cultural/social/masculine hang up that makes you think being able to procreate is what makes you man, well, get over it.
We share the responsibility for making babies; why not share the responsibility for preventing them?