Is He Abusing You With Birth Control?

Amy Keyishian

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We’ve all dated that guy who complained that he didn’t want to wear a condom -- well, I have, anyway. Again and again. But I never thought about it beyond simple selfishness and stupidity. Could a guy refusing to use contraceptives be out to control you? Is it another form of abuse?

I just learned about this new term: reproductive coercion. It refers to guys who sneakily avoid using contraception in an effort to get a woman pregnant so that he has a continued connection to her no matter what.

I really hadn’t thought of it that way. And came across a scary number of guys like this when I was dating.

The stereotype is that women get pregnant on purpose to ensnare men, and I do know situations where this has happened. But I also know of a lot more situations where the opposite has happened -- and I’m ashamed to say I never thought of it as anything more than dumb guys being dumb.

I had one boyfriend tell me he wished he would accidentally get me pregnant, because “then I’d know we’d always be in touch.” It wasn’t till I read this article that I realized how truly creepy (not sweet) that was! How about, you know, being a mensch and a great friend so that I want to be in touch with you?

There are men who want to be fathers and partners, and there are guys who like the feeling of control, whether over you or the potential babies that could come from your union.

The article lists other warning signs that a guy is out to sabotage your contraceptive choices, including guys who “helpfully” point out that birth control will mess with your body in some way -- that the hormones will make you break out or gain weight. Yep, I’ve heard that one, too.

Moms who date have to be especially vigilant about creepy guys who aren’t good mates for us or role models for our kids. If a guy whines about wearing a condom, take a good, long look at him and ask if he’s likely to be a good, responsible choice for you and your family.

Have you come across a condom whiner? A pill-hater? A nuvaring-remover? Did he turn out to be big trouble?

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