Deep thoughts

Serious blogging two days in a row?

This has been on my mind for awhile.  As a woman, a teacher, and hopefully someday a mother.  There have been numerous studies lately about birth control and attraction to men.  Basically the studies show that women who are not on birth control are normally attracted to men who are genetically different, but compatible to them.  However, on birth control, women are attracted to men with similar genetic patterns to themselves, and therefor not as compatible.  There hasn’t been a whole lot of research that I could find that really talks about the implications of this but…there are some that jump to my mind immediately.

First, if we’re not as genetically compatible, then could this be part of the reason for the rise in infertility?  If women aren’t picking genetically compatible men when they’re on birth control then does it make sense that our bodies aren’t going to make or carry babies that aren’t viable?

The second thought in my head is kind of tied into the first one.  If we’re not as genetically compatible with our mates, and the babies don’t have as strong immune systems, then could this be leading to the higher rates of autism and children with disabilities?  I know part of the rising rates for autism and disabilities is because diagnostic techniques are diagnosing more children and part of the rising rates is due to modern medicine helping us carry babies to full term and save babies who, 40 years ago, might have passed as young children.  But I wonder if the genetic matches aren’t as strong, is this leading to a rise in disabilities?

Finally, I wonder if this isn’t part of the reason the incidence of divorce has risen since birth control became more readily available.  I realize that part of this is due to the fact that we accept divorce more easily in our society than we did 40 years ago.  The studies on birth control show that women who are in a loving relationship, go off their birth control, and are no longer sexually attracted to their mates.  Women who chose more genetically similar men are more likely to cheat.

As someone who’s been on birth control since she was 16, these studies are alarming to me.  I think about the problems that Noah and I have had and I wonder how much is my fault and how much could be caused by the birth control.  We all know that birth control causes wild hormonal swings and for some women it can lower their libido, cause weight gain, and all kinds of other crap.  I look back on all my relationships and wonder.  I worry about infertility and, as a special ed. teacher I worry about our child having disabilities.

What do you think?  Are the studies full of crap?  Are there things that make you wonder?


3 thoughts on “Deep thoughts

  1. I haven’t looked too deeply into these studies, but my gut says they might be crap. I just have a hard time wrapping my brain around how birth control might affect selecting a mate. It’s adjusting hormones and affecting body processes, but it’s not really changing things at the DNA level or anything. I’m not a scientist though, so I’m far from an expert. I guess it could be an environmental factor that causes things to go awry as cells duplicate, but I would think those mutations would be permanent.

    This probably sounds all conspiracy theory and out in left field, but I sometimes wonder about all these things that make birth control sound evil. Here women have a way of controlling their own fertility to a degree, and it seems that we are constantly hearing how that is a bad thing.

    • I hear you. The studies say that it’s the change in hormones that makes us select the wrong male. We unconsciously smell our mates and the pheromones they are secreting. The birth control tricks our bodies into thinking we’re pregnant so we start looking for males who are protective and caring. When we’re not on birth control, our bodies are trying to procreate so they seek out men with strong pheromones.

      I don’t know though. It sounds like crap but when you start to think about it, it starts to make some sense.

  2. I saw some recent articles about this and while going on/off BC did mess with my hormones and emotions and libido, it didn’t change me or my attraction to my husband (at least not after the first month or so of adjusting!) so I don’t take it too seriously.

    Now my periods on the other hand, holy hell do those hurt when not on BC!

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