Male birth control (The Chicago Tribune)
Whoa! Scientists recently made a discovery that puts us nearer to a male birth control method. And said method might even be available by 2018!
Here are the deets: Scientists at the Parsemus Foundation have developed a “non-hormonal male contraceptive,” which they’re calling Vasalgel. It’s a gel which gets injected into a man’s testicles. Once inside, the gel forms a protective barrier that prevents sperm from leaving the vans deferens (located inside the testicles).
Vasalgel explainer graphic (Tech Times)
So far, the gel has only been through animal testing, specifically on rabbits. Of the 12 rabbits tested, 11 revealed no traces of sperm within their semen within 29 days of receiving the injection. (That twelfth rabbit’s semen cleared of sperm soon after.) The effect endured throughout the 12-month study.
Another important aspect: it’s reversible! Scientists were able to inject a second gel into seven of the rabbits, and their sperm “rapidly” returned.
What does this mean for human men? It looks so promising, right? Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a couple of years. Scientists now need to conduct a human trial, which could happen later this year. Of course, the results will need to be duplicated to get the greenlight. But who knows? Hopefully men around the world will be able to get this procedure done at their doctor’s office within the next five years.
College hookup (HerCampus)
Much has been made of the college hook-up culture over the last decade. Women (and men) seem to be divided over whether college women should, or shouldn’t, be hooking up as much as they do. Or maybe it’s hooking up more than they do. Either way, everyone has an opinion.
But what actually influences likelihood of college women’s hookups? Luckily, there’s an answer. In 2013, the Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown University surveyed 483 college freshmen women and followed up monthly with each one for eight months. The questions encompassed a wide range of behaviors that could be noteworthy:
Specific questions covered the students’ sexual behavior, hookup attitudes and intentions, self-esteem, religious beliefs, parents’ relationship status, alcohol and marijuana use, smoking, impulsivity and sensation-seeking behavior.
The study turned up two important findings. The first was that women who had hooked up prior to college were most likely to continue hooking up during college. This makes sense, as it used previous behavior patterns to predict future behavior patterns.
Another significant finding determined that marijuana usage as an accurate indicator of hookup proclivities. Researcher Robyn L. Fielder believes that this is “the first study to explore marijuana use as a predictor of hooking up.” In context of what the plant is capable of, this makes sense: Marijuana has been linked to “risky sexual behavior, impairing judgment and reducing inhibitions.”
The results were published in the “Archives of Sexual Behavior.”