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The history of the pill

The advent of modern contraception in the early 1960s changed everything. But it also stirred controversy. Taking the pill was easy. Integrating it into our society? Not so much.

As the birth control pill turns 50, Need to Know takes a look back at how its introduction into everyday life raised fears of moral corruption and “sexual anarchy.” In fact, the pill provided women with new opportunities, allowing them to have families and careers at the same time. More women joined the workforce, and the size of the American family got smaller.

Now researchers are developing patents for similar forms of birth control for men. Such advances could put men and women on equal footing when it comes to sexual responsibility.

But Connie Mogull, a wife and mother who shared her experiences with Need to Know, has her doubts. “The first thing that comes into my head is: Would you really trust a man to remember to take that pill?”

Related stories:
Erica Jong on the pill, then and now
A brief history of the birth control pill
A birth control pill for men?

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