SNIPPED – Survey shows 25% more U.S. men are considering a vasectomy in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The bombshell decision to overturn Roe v. Wade quickly caused battle lines to form on both sides of the political spectrum. Many analysts had predicted that ending Roe would deepen divisions in the country. Protests, outcries over social media, and scores of opinion pieces have borne out these predictions.
These issues are well-covered for good reason: the decision’s implications extend to all facets of public life, including some dramatic–if not immediately obvious–impacts on the economy. To better understand how these implications are affecting men’s family planning decisions, Chamber of Commerce.org decided to conduct a survey on whether men’s attitudes towards vasectomies as viable modes of contraception have changed with the overturning of Roe.
A new Chamber of Commerce.org survey found that 25% more U.S. men are considering undergoing vasectomies now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.
The survey interviewed 525 men from all across the U.S., capturing a broad spectrum of age groups and relationship statuses.
Of the men surveyed:
- 45.9% were single;
- 44.5% were in committed relationships;
- 9.6% were other;
- 63.2% were not planning to have any (or any more) children;
- 36.8% planned to have more children.
The overwhelming majority of respondents (84%) reported that preventing unwanted pregnancies was very or somewhat important to them.
Despite the prevalence of this concern, when asked the following:
Had you considered getting a vasectomy prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade?
- 365 respondents (70%) reported not having considered the procedure.
When asked the follow-up question:
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and abortion access is no longer protected nationwide, would you now consider having a vasectomy in the near or distant future (if children were no longer a consideration)?
- 92 (25%) of the 365 respondents who had not considered a vasectomy prior to the overturning of Roe reported that they would now consider the procedure.
This uptick is most significant among younger men. Of the respondents who reported changing their minds about considering the procedure due to the overturning of Roe:
- 57% were between the ages of 18 and 34;
- 43% were 35 and above.
The primary reasons cited for the change were:
- A sense of solidarity with their partner/easing the burden on the female;
- Desire to avoid pregnancy now that access to abortion is no longer guaranteed;
- Effectiveness of the procedure compared to other birth control methods;
- Financial considerations.
The 273 men who reported not changing their minds cited a variety of concerns about having a vasectomy. The most prominent among them were:
- Desire not to undergo a procedure on that part of the body (18%);
- Permanence of the procedure (16%);
- Cost (15%).
Other reasons cited included being worried about pain, impact on sex life, and effect on masculinity.
Interestingly, 55% of total respondents said that they would be either very likely or somewhat likely to recommend the procedure to someone else.
In the past, there have been few published studies about men’s views on vasectomies. The procedure is an underused option of contraception, with under 10% of men having the procedure. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, however, more men–especially younger men–are showing interest in the procedure.
This increased interest shows that access to abortion is not just an issue for women. While access to abortion has been shown to have profound impacts on women’s financial prospects, it also affects men’s socioeconomic status in a variety of ways. Our survey indicates that these financial considerations intersect with a variety of other family planning-related concerns. It also shows that men who do not wish to receive vasectomies are primarily worried about the safety, efficacy, and long-term effects of the procedure itself; public health studies show that increased education about vasectomies may help minimize these worries and stigmas.
As the consequences of the SCOTUS’ decision continue to unfold, it appears that this upward trend, especially among young men, may continue. Reproductive rights and economic concerns are intimately linked for both sexes, making it likely that more men will seek alternative contraception options to make up for the possible lack of access to abortions.
To examine the impact of Roe v. Wade’s overturning on vasectomy numbers in the U.S., on July 19th, we conducted an online survey of 525 men living in states across the country. Respondents that had a vasectomy in the past were screened out. Initially, 626 men showed interest in taking the study, but 101 were ineligible, leaving us with 525 respondents.
All respondents were aged 18 or older. The cohort was composed of: 20% men aged between 18 and 24, 26% aged between 25 and 34, 26% aged between 35 and 44, 17% aged between 45 and 54, and 12% aged over 54 years. 37% of respondents were planning to have or have more children, while 63% were not. The questions were designed to be relevant to both of these segments.
Each respondent completed a survey consisting of 13 questions, beginning with basic questions about personal information and demographics. From there, the questions focused on the respondents’ attitudes towards vasectomies pre- and post-Roe being overturned and their reasons behind those attitudes. For the purpose of this survey, the focus was on age, however, additional analysis would be insightful when considering ethnicity, education, household income, etc. Qualitative studies would also help understand people’s opinions and beliefs about the stigma around vasectomies.