Hormonally Active Contraceptives, Part II: Sociological, Environmental, and Economic Impact

William V. Williams, Joel Brind, Laura Haynes, Michael D. Manhart, Hanna Klaus, Angela Lanfranchi, Gerard Migeon, Michael Gaskins, Elvis I. Šeman, Lester Ruppersberger, Kathleen M. Raviele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate the sociological, environmental, and economic impact of hormonally active contraceptives, a series of comprehensive literature surveys were employed. Sociological effects are discussed including abortion, exploitation of women, a weakening of marriage, and an increase in divorce with deleterious effects on children such as child poverty, poorer health, lower educational achievement, suicide risks, drug and alcohol abuse, criminality, and incarceration, among others. The environmental impact is discussed briefly and includes the feminization and trans-gendering of male fish downstream from the effluent of city wastewater treatment plants with declining fish populations. The potential economic impact of most of these side effects is estimated based on epidemiologic data and published estimates of costs of caring for the diseases which are linked to the use of hormonally active contraceptives. Hormonally active contraceptives appear to have a deleterious impact on multiple aspects of women’s health as well as negative economic and environmental impacts. These risks can be avoided through the use of nonhormonal methods and need to be more clearly conveyed to the public. 

Summary: Hormonal contraceptives have wide-ranging effects. The potential economic impact of the medical side effects is estimated. Sociological effects are discussed including abortion, exploitation of women, a weakening of marriage and an increase in divorce with negative effects on children such as child poverty, poorer health, lower educational achievement, suicide risks, drug and alcohol abuse, criminality and incarceration among others. The environmental impact includes hormonal effects on fish with declining fish populations. Women seeking birth control have a right to know about how to avoid these risks by using effective hormone-free methods like Fertility Awareness Methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-316
Number of pages26
JournalLinacre Quarterly
Volume88
Issue number3
Early online date21 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Autoimmunity
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Contraception
  • Depression
  • Economic impact
  • Epidemiology
  • Human interaction with the environment
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sociology

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