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Frailties of the stronger sex

The prospect of a male pill has appeared on the horizon various times over the last 50 years, but the issue of side effects scuttled every effort. Scientists, May reports, “actually discovered an effective vaccine that completely stopped the production of sperm without interfering with sex drive.” But it also made users’ testicles shrink by a third, so the researchers abandoned it, concluding, “The psychological trauma of shrinking testes just cannot be overcome.”

— from “What the Pill Gave Birth To,” Michelle Goldberg’s review of America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation by Elaine Tyler May, Basic Books, 224 pages, $25.95.

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