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Attitudes towards the male contraceptive pill: psychosocial and cultural explanations for delaying a marketable product

Regards sur la pilule contraceptive masculine: enjeux culturels et psychosociaux expliquant le report d’un produit commercialisable

Abstract

Even though years of research on the male contraceptive pill have been conducted, a marketable product is still absent from the arsenal of male and female products of contraception. In this paper, the following psychosocial and cultural factors have been elicited from the literature in order to reveal explanations for this delay: acceptability, trust, fear of side-effects, perceptions of contraceptive responsibility and fear of losing connotations of masculinity. Regardless of cultural variation, overall there seems to be a positive attitude towards the acceptability of male contraceptive for both males and females, especially males in stable relationships. Some indication shows that the media have played an important role in distorting the results of research regarding male and female trust. Ongoing and future researches into several projects on psychosocial and cultural factors are described.

Résumé

Alors même que la pilule contraceptive masculine a fait l’objet d’années de recherche, sa commercialisation est toujours absente de l’arsenal des méthodes de contraception pour les hommes et les femmes.

Cet article a pour but de mettre à jour des explications à ce retard. Par une analyse de la littérature, menée par une recherche sur sept bases de données en utilisant une combinaison de plusieurs mots clés (pilule masculine, contraception masculine hormonale, attitudes, et psychologie), les auteurs ont mis en évidence les facteurs culturels et psychosociaux suivants: l’acceptabilité (hypothétique et dans les essais cliniques), la confiance — les femmes feraient-elles confiance à leur partenaire pour utiliser une pilule masculine efficacement, et les hommes auraient-ils confiance en euxmêmes —, la peur des effets secondaires, les perceptions de la responsabilité contraceptive et enfin la peur de la perte de masculinité.

Sans se soucier des variations culturelles, il semble globalement exister une attitude positive à la fois des hommes et des femmes en ce qui concerne l’acceptabilité d’une contraception masculine, plus particulièrement pour les hommes qui sont dans une relation stable.

Il existe par ailleurs quelques indices laissant percevoir que les medias ont joué un rôle important en dénaturant les résultats de la recherche concernant la confiance des hommes et des femmes en l’utilisation d’une contraception masculine.

Les auteurs développent enfin plusieurs projets de recherche en cours sur les facteurs culturels et psychosociaux. Ils soulèvent aussi la nécessité d’un modèle intégré de ces facteurs qui formatent les attitudes envers la pilule masculine, modèle nécessaire à l’évaluation de la variation psychosociale globale qui distingue les hommes les uns des autres dans la compréhension de la contraception hormonale masculine.

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Correspondence to A. van Wersch.

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About this article

Keywords

  • Acceptability
  • Attitudes
  • Contraceptive responsibility
  • Male pill
  • Masculinity
  • Psychosocial factors

Mots clés

  • Acceptabilité
  • Regards
  • Responsabilité de la contraception
  • Pilule masculine
  • Masculinité
  • Facteurs psychosociaux