On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives,


10 thoughts on “On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950-1970

  1. says:

    On the Pill complicates (and debunks) the causal relationship between a technology and a socio-cultural revolution. It also explores the tensions in the widespread adoption of a technological fix for socio-econimc problems (namely overpopulation concerns).

    It is particularly interesting, though perhaps not surprising given the large percentage of the population concerned, that the Pill initiated an important shift in patient-doctor information relationships, introducing the patient package insert we are so familiar with now. Watkins handles the delicate balance in the subjectivity of patient risk-benefit calculations well. I also particularly enjoyed the treatment of journalists and the media's role in the adoption of the pill.

    My only lament is that this history stops at 1970, as I'd love to know more about how these controversies continue with the introduction of new technologies (rings), and as alternatives to the pill are explored (a renewed interest in IUDs).


  2. says:

    A perfectly serviceable history of the development of the pill, although not one that is not otherwise accessible elsewhere. Of particular interest in this publication, however, is the emphasis on the development of the patient package insert and the (often lopsided) relationship between doctor and patient (as well as pharmaceutical companies/development and doctors and patients). As always, I am interested in how risk-benefit analyses are carried out and by whom, and this book addressed this complication in adoption of the pill very well. Certainly a book to pick up if you’re looking to explore the pill in many facets (not only medical but also through the lenses of technological development, risk calculation, media coverage etc), but perhaps not the seminal work on the subject.


  3. says:

    Nice overview of the history of the birth control pill and it's larger historical and social meanings. Would have liked to have seen more detail but is a nice addition to the literature on prescription drugs.


  4. says:

    This was an important book to read in terms of learning the history of the pill. However, there were some sections that were geared more towards medical professionals that I did not completely understand. But the parts about the social history were a lot more interesting.


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On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950-1970 There can be no doubting the importance of the pill in postWorld War II America The commercial availability of the birth control pill in the early s permitted women far greater reproductive choice, created a new set of ethical and religious questions, encouraged feminism, changed the dynamics of women's health care, and forever altered gender relations In this fresh look at the pill's cultural and medical history, Elizabeth Siegel Watkins reexamines the scientific and ideological forces that led to its development, the parts women played in debates over its application, and the role of the media, medical profession, and pharmaceutical industry in deciding issues of its safety and meaning

  • Hardcover
  • 208 pages
  • On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950-1970
  • Elizabeth Siegel Watkins
  • English
  • 15 August 2018
  • 9780801858765

About the Author: Elizabeth Siegel Watkins

Is a well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950 1970 book, this is one of the most wanted Elizabeth Siegel Watkins author readers around the world.