The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

Alcohol should contain contraceptive agents?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 697 times Debate No: 43804
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




Saw this as a poll and thought this would be an interesting topic to debate. First round acceptance.


Well, damn. I realized after accepting this debate that I was on a separate side than I'd first believed. But hey, that's fine. I'll still argue this position, though I'm going to set up a bit of a different round than Con stated in the comments, as it will be my burden to support whatever position I take.

Rather than setting up a legal structure (as I think this would run into too many issues to tackle), my case will be that companies should produce separate products that are specifically marketed to women containing birth control pills, as they are the sole water-soluble contraceptive of which I am aware. These companies will continue to be regulated by the FDA, which will determine an industry standard concentration of these contraceptives in alcohol. I will argue that such products are beneficial to society.

However, as my opponent has yet to post an argument, I will abstain from doing so in this round, and leave it to him to start the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Let me begin by apologizing to my opposite for being confusing. I am new to this site and new to debating like this in general, I am doing this to explore a hobby. My aim was to argue that there should not be a requirement for breweries or distilleries to include contraceptives ("the pill") in the manufacture of alcohol. I will be willing to attempt to argue that it is illogical and imposable for this industry to include any form of chemical contraceptive in their product regardless of the benefits.
Let"s start by looking into birth control and how it work. Most often "the pill" is made up of two different hormones called estrogen and progestin. These hormones work together to prevent obulation and to thicken the mucus wall of the uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg. ( Estrogen and progestin are a type of hormones called steroids ( Birth control being a steroid is hard on your liver, and women on birth control have seen to have an increase rate of liver cancer (
Now let"s talk about alcohol. There are many different types of alcohol; however the kind that people drink is called ethanol (abbreviated ETOH). I believe that we can all agree that alcohol is hard on your liver.
My first point that I want to make is that the health risks involved with making a product that contain two hepatotoxic chemicals outweigh the benefits. The liver is a vital organ and any alteration in function is not good.
Next ETOH has been shown to negatively affect the female reproductive system ( There have been no studies involving a product that includes both "the pill" and ETOH so there is no way of knowing the immediate effects on the human body.
The third concern I have is how will it be regulated? Right now "the pill" is only available as a prescription. Are you going to need a prescription to get a bottle of liquor with hormones in it? If it is over the counter would it not be to easy to accidentally overdose on it? I assume that the people who will buy this product have the goal of getting extremely intoxicated. When I am intoxicated I do not keep track of how much I drink. There a lot of people like that and how would you prevent people from accidentally drinking too much of the hormone?


I'd like to thank my opponent for his arguments, and will now move into my own.

Before I do, I'd just like to say that Con shouldn't feel bad for the way he set up this round. It was my mistake for not seeing that he'd set himself as Con instead of Pro, though I don't mind taking this side of the issue.

Now, I'm going to start off by stating my case, then get into a bit of rebuttal.

In the U.S., almost 50% of pregnancies are unplanned.[1] Many of these pregnancies occur while one or both parties is inebriated. While I can't find specific studies spelling out the percentage of people who get pregnant while inebriated, we do know that roughly 50% of unplanned sex occurs under the influence of alcohol and on a very basic level I think we can all understand that contraception is less likely to be thought of when one is under the influence, mostly as a result of dulled mental faculties.[2]

The harms of alcohol usage prior to pregnancy are stark, as is detailed in this study:

"Alcohol administered in high doses to males and females around the time of conception or during early pregnancy increases the frequency of embryonal resorption, chromosomal abnormalities in the offspring, and fetal deaths in some animals...
Women with a very high alcohol intake have been shown to be at increased risk of preterm delivery and stillbirth, and a high intake during pregnancy may be teratogenic for some.
Early biochemically detected embryonal losses may account for as many as 40"70 percent of all pregnancy losses...
Alcohol consumption has been shown to be associated with aneuploidy in sperm cells, and spontaneously aborted embryos are frequently chromosomally abnormal. Alcohol is present in semen relatively shortly after ingestion, and it may also interfere directly with conception and thereby implantation."

The study itself concludes with the following result:

"...We found that both male and female alcohol intakes during the week of conception increased the risk of spontaneous abortion, including biochemically detected pregnancy loss."[3]

In other words, alcohol intake at or shortly before conception is a big problem. It leads to spontaneous abortions and genetic abnormalities. That's not to mention that alcohol usage prior to pregnancy is a huge indicator of alcohol use following pregnancy, which exacerbates the harms to the child.[1] The harms beyond spontaneous abortion are listed by the CDC under Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:

Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)
Small head size
Shorter-than-average height
Low body weight
Poor coordination
Hyperactive behavior
Difficulty paying attention
Poor memory
Difficulty in school (especially with math)
Learning disabilities
Speech and language delays
Intellectual disability or low IQ
Poor reasoning and judgment skills
Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
Vision or hearing problems
Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones [4]

These are not small issues. As such, we should be focused on ensuring that fewer children are conceived following intoxication on the part of either partner. While there are certainly rights issues involved in forcing people to use contraception, a company that produces alcohol can make a big statement by offering up an alternative product that offers the same inebriation while preventing the harms of these pregnancies.

Enter a combination of The Pill and alcohol. Companies could market this product strictly to women. Not only would this product prevent the vast majority of unplanned pregnancies associated with alcohol, but it would also be an image change for the industry, making them more appealing to a general public concerned with such health outcomes.

Now, let's get into some rebuttal.

Con talks about the possible harms of steroid usage. While I agree that liver tumors are a problem, we have to recognize several things here. First, in his own link, it states that malignancy is rare.

"Oral contraceptive use is associated with an increase in the risk of benign liver tumors, such as hepatocellular adenomas. Benign tumors can form as lumps in different areas of the liver, and they have a high risk of bleeding or rupturing. However, these tumors rarely become malignant."

Second, this is a risk that women would face with full knowledge. This would have to be printed on beer labels, as with all the possible harms of alcohol usage. Third, women are taking birth control now, and in many cases, are likely to take birth control without the alcohol. So this problem is far from unique to my case. Fourth, I'd say the harms that result from aborted pregnancies and defects are both far more damaging and far more likely. Damaging with regards to their effects on the child and parents, likely with respect to the rare occasions on which the cancers that Con cites occur.

Con gets into the use of alcohols with birth control. I'd say there's quite a bit less uncertainties than he professes. Many sources state that The Pill works just fine with alcohol, in fact emphasizing that user error is the biggest problem when it comes to the combination.[5][6] When Con states that there's a possible harm to using both together, it ignores the fact that they are often used together today. There are no studies to support the claim that these would cause increased harm if put into the same bottle, and there are no harms associated with their usage en tandem.

But I think the biggest problem with this point is that it ignores current realities. Remember, this isn't a question of whether these women are going to drink or not, or whether they want to take The Pill or not. They want both, that's the reason they'd be buying this. The only difference between this instance of usage and the one in status quo is effectiveness - they're simply not likely to take The Pill correctly, and therefore not likely to get the effects they desire. All the harms of people taking both still exist in his world, just with less likelihood of the benefits of preventing pregnancy.

Con also states that there are negative effects on the female reproductive system of alcohol. I'd say this only bolsters the points of my case and why this should be implemented. Cross apply my arguments about why a combination product wouldn't be worse, how the lack of research doesn't bolster his point, and how the harms all persist without my case.

Lastly, he talks about regulation. Yes, a person would have to get a prescription, and buy these particular bottles at the prescription counter at a CVS or elsewhere. The amount of The Pill placed in these bottles would likely be well below any foreseeable level of overdose, but I will admit, there's a possibility of taking too much. But, again, I would say that this is not unique to this situation. A person can very easily take too much of The Pill if they are intoxicated and trying to use it directly. That harm exists no matter whether it's in the drink or still in pill form. If anything, I would say that this is less likely to lead to overdose, since it's titrated to the size of the bottle overall. Some people might be able to pound multiple beers, but likely far fewer than will be able to take multiple pills.

And with that, I await Con's next argument.

Debate Round No. 2


JMCika forfeited this round.


Well, hopefully Con will be able to post in the next 72 hours. We have two rounds left, plenty of time. I leave it to him.
Debate Round No. 3


JMCika forfeited this round.


I'm sad now...
Debate Round No. 4


JMCika forfeited this round.


Well, I've done as much argumentation and rebuttal as I'd ever need to do considering the minimal volume of argumentation on Con's part. Chalk this up to another intriguing debate gone by the wayside because my opponent couldn't come online t and post his arguments. I hope that he's not dealing with an emergency, and that all is well with him, and I invite him to repeat this debate with me anytime he feels he is able to commit the necessary time to post his arguments.

For the time being, voters can feel free to peruse what we've posted and make a decision on whose argumentation is better.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
Well, it's much easier to argue against a resolution that makes it so that the federal government has to institute some sort of policy requiring it, and there's a lot of meaty stuff there. If it were me arguing against the case I'd made here... well, admittedly, it gets much harder. JMCika has the right tack with arguing that their usage en tandem could be bad, and there's some uncertainty there as to dosage. It's still pretty nonunique to say either of those things, though. One thing I'd do is talk about how pharmacies shouldn't be selling beer, though that's more of a "what should they ethically be constrained to?" debate.

I might argue a slippery slope, that beer and other products would try incorporating other pharmaceuticals. The FDA might be able to turn down some of them, but if they're allowing this, then some are bound to get through. I'd have to impact this out, though, go through why some things that look good really aren't good to place in beer (say Tylenol, for one, especially for hard drinkers - I could see them selling a way to prevent hangovers this way).

In relation to this specific usage, I think I would also spend some time talking about the number of men who would drink these things. They're unlikely to try to take the pills, even inebriated, but if they see a bottle of beer, they're often not going to distinguish between this particular type and any other. I still can't see this as a huge harm, but generally, men inadvertently taking a lot of these hormones isn't a good thing, and since men generally drink more, this could become a big problem if enough women buy into it.

They're not the greatest harms, but then, I wouldn't say I have much stronger benefits.
Posted by TheLastMan 3 years ago
Don't un"derestimate whiteflame. He is the best debater of another website ;)
Posted by Caploxion 3 years ago
Whiteflame, what would be your general argument against the resolution? Is it forcing alcohol companies to place the contraceptive in the alcohol?- is that, as you see, unfair to the companies?
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
Well, apparently he's not too keen on his position either, since he forfeited the last two rounds. With only about an hour left in this one, I very much doubt we'll see any response.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
Strong arguments, Pro. I wouldn't envy being in Con's position lol.
Posted by JMCika 3 years ago
I must apologize I did not think this out very well. I just saw the poll and thought that this was in interesting topic. For the sake of argument we can say there should be a law requiring alcohol manufactures to to have contraceptives in the alcohol.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
So, wait, what do the logistics of this look like? I can assume that we're talking about the birth control pill (something tells me that condoms are going to be a pretty ineffective mix), but are we talking about instituting a requirement on every company that produces alcohol within the U.S.? Would individual companies make the choice, or would some regulatory agency manage this?
Posted by JMCika 3 years ago
Alcohol doesn't make it impossible. Yes it can make it more difficult to achieve an erection but not impossible. I disagree with the making people uglier as well. Let's say I am with my wife and we decide to have a child. If we decide to split a bottle of wine why would I want a chemical in it to make my wife less attractive to me?
Posted by black_squirrel 3 years ago
It already has! Too much alcohol and you won't get it up.
Maybe some agent that makes other people more ugly instead of more attractive ("beer-goggles")
would be useful.

Alcohol costs a lot of lives because of drinking and driving, alcohol related diseases etc. On the other hand,
it also creates lots of new life.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheLastMan 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con disappointed me. He forfeited and most of Pros arguments went unrefuted. Pro did a good job from his side. But, I believe it was possible for Con to give a good response.