Don't Want Kids? Take Care of 'Workers in the Mine'

Growing up in an Indian-Candian household the topic of sex was never brought up. I learnt about it in school along with many of my friends. While the education system attempted to teach us, the main message I got was, “just don’t have sex.” I had no idea what sex was or why it was considered so taboo. In fact, the more I learned, the more agressive the message “don’t have sex” got. For females, the main message has always been, “if you have sex, you will get pregnant.” As I learned more information, I started to learn about different contraceptive methods. Especially the lack of male contraceptives and the overbearing amount available to females, many of which have long and short term side effects that aren’t always pleasant. The reality is that female contraceptives are often extremely invasive, deeply affecting a woman's hormones and body. While male contraceptives do exist and have been proven as efficient, the main responsibility of engaging in safe sex is placed on women. Just to name a few side effects, Medical News Today reports birth control can cause loss of menstruation (amenorrhea) or extra bleeding, vaginal irritation, breast tenderness or enlargement and a change in hormone levels. 

Women well into their adult years take the pill everyday to take control of their lives.

So much responsibility is placed on the women that it is normalized for a woman who has decided she doesn’t want kids to take the responsibility to donate her eggs or get her tubes tied. Therefore, it's only fair that if an adult male who knows they don’t want kids and is over a certain age, they should also take precautions by getting a vasectomy. A vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception. While this option should be restricted to those over a certain age, males should take the necessary procedures if they are positive they don’t want children while engaging in sexual activity. 

People don’t need kids to live a happy and fulfilling life. Yet, there is an assumption that having children completes one's life, leading people to have kids for other reasons than actually wanting a child. Making the decision to not have kids is a difficult choice, and people should be able to make that choice free of pressure and intervention. When it comes to contraceptive methods, women are expected to take pills or stick devices up their bodies that create serious long term damage. In comparison to a woman tying her tubes, the recovery time is 1 to 3 weeks while a vasectomy recovery time is 24 hours. 

Normalizing vasectomies are the first step in making the responsibility of safe sex equal for men and women. If an adult man does not want kids, then we as society need to normalize taking care of the 'Workers in the Mine'.

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