(LifeSiteNews) – Recent updates to the terms and conditions of reality have seen new alliances formed over the question of defining a woman. As women struggle to assert the fact of their own being, feminists and Christian traditionalists have often found themselves on the same side of the argument.
With the FDA approving “over the counter” birth control pills, another front of unlikely unity may be set to emerge. Twenty years of revealing research is fueling renewed interest in the wider effects of the hormone treatment known as “the Pill.”
Far from being the wonder drug which liberated women, repeated studies suggest that the effects of the contraceptive pill on women is sufficient to prompt some to say it has “robbed” them of their lives.
Life lived as a side effect
A 2015 piece for The Conversation eulogizes the scientist whose research led to the creation of the Pill. The fruit of Carl Djerassi’s work, hormonal contraception was celebrated for putting “Women in Control” with an oral abortifacient which “directly improved the well-being of single women” and “increased the well-being of women in marriages and relationships too.”
This increase in “well-being” was due to the technological liberation from marriage, morality, and motherhood.
Yet repeated studies have shown that this “well-being” – even when limited to the minds of the women concerned – is a dangerous fantasy.
Depression, affectlessness, changing patterns of attraction, and relationship breakdown are but a few factors associated with the abortifacient – which is about to be made available without a prescription throughout the U.S.
It belongs to a wider market of hormonal birth control products, all of which carry the same risk of personality-altering side effects. This market has been growing in the U.S., and is projected to see rapid expansion in the coming years.
Appearance and reality
In fact, usage of the pill has been overshadowed by the growing awareness of the unintended consequences of hormone disruption.
In a 2013 National Health Statistics Report published by the CDC, 62.9% of women who stopped using oral contraceptives did so because of side effects.
So said a 2019 report in MedicalXpress, which found a mismatch between the rosy picture presented in the research, and the grim realities posted by women online.
It is common to hear about the pill’s negative mood effects on social media websites such as Reddit and in Facebook groups. But studies actually point to the opposite: Most women on hormonal birth control experience no effect or a beneficial effect on mood.
However, a 2016 review of existing scientific literature on hormonal birth control and mood pointed out there is a lack of research in this area, and that negative mood effects are measured differently in every study. Often, researchers lump different types of contraceptives together in studies, when each contain different levels of hormones.
Whilst side effects such as blood clots and decreased libido are freely admitted by the manufacturers and health authorities, little mention is made of the hormonal disruption to the personalities, behavior, and even intelligence of the women taking the pill.
A growing body of evidence
For almost 20 years, reports have routinely emerged showing how hormonal birth control causes depression, changes in attraction, promotes relationship breakdown, and even causes cognitive impairment in the women who take it.
A report from 2004 in the American Family Physician Journal found that more women reported a deterioration in mood than an improvement – following uptake of the oral contraceptive pill.
Whilst inconclusive, the findings foreshadowed a growing trend in psychological side effects to hormonal birth control.
Four years later, Scientific American reported that the pill changed women’s preference for men. The hormonal disruption of this abortifacient led them to select effeminate and weak males – a preference which vanished when they ceased taking the pill to start a family.
In brief, the pill makes women prefer men who smell like themselves. Whereas women will normally select a partner whose “major histocompatibility complex” (MHC) genes differ from her own by scent, the pill reverses this preference.
Yet the problem lies not only with the distortion of female attraction. It also fuels relationship breakdown.
Women who start or stop taking the pill, then, may be in for some relationship problems.
A 2008 study published by the Royal Society in the U.K. found that “women paired with MHC-similar men are less sexually satisfied and more likely to cheat on their partners than women paired with MHC-dissimilar men.”
According to the author of the report, the University of Liverpool’s Craig Roberts, women are likely to end their relationship when they stop taking the pill:
“…a woman on the pill, for example, might be more likely to start dating a MHC-similar man, but… if she goes off the pill during the relationship, the accompanying hormonal changes will draw her even more strongly toward more MHC-dissimilar men.”
He concludes that these hormonal changes have a “powerful effect in terms of how well relationships are cemented.”
Far from increasing the empowerment and well being of women, the contraceptive pill appears to have undermined their power to make one of the most important decisions in their lives: the selection of the father of their children.
These findings have been reaffirmed in the work of Dr. Sarah Hill, whose 2019 book This Is Your Brain On Birth Control highlighted the dramatic impact on female decision making and personality.
It is a body of evidence which is complemented by studies which suggest that oral contraceptives impair women’s ability to recognize complex emotions.
Some have suggested the hormone disruptors can result in changes to sexual preference.
With so much anecdotal and scientific evidence for the negative effects of hormonal contraception, why is the issue confined to the margins of debate?
A 2019 report published in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz draws together the threads of this fraying narrative.
In the words of one researcher (emphasis added):
Neuroscientist Belinda Pletzer maintains that one of the reasons for the dearth of research in the field is fear of accusations of chauvinism.
“When you talk about sex hormones, the discussion becomes political very quickly.”
The fact that women’s brains may be affected by the hormones they take can become a political tool. People have already told me that my research undermines all the progress made in feminism over the last few decades, that I am actually proving that women are inferior to men.
This is of course complete nonsense since male brains are also affected by sex hormones. But if you do this research, you may sometimes to be accused of sexism.”
The above report is no longer available online, but can be retrieved via the internet archive. It is a perfect example of how the real-world problems caused by a utopian belief in technologically fueled social “progress” are deliberately obscured because the evidence contradicts the argument.
As is so often the case, when the facts contradict the fantasy narrative of the liberal consensus they are marginalized by a utopian fiction.
The troubling reality of the effect of hormone disruption on women is a problematic topic. This is not due to the risks to female “well-being,” nor to those of a wider society whose water supply contains significant traces of these and many other hormone disruptors.
It is a problem because the “pill” and its cognates were sold alongside abortion as the cornerstone of female liberation.
I have long argued that feminism has liberated women from womanhood. It now appears that birth control has liberated them from self-control as well, replacing the natural order with unnatural disorders.