The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4291.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 5:30 PM

Abstract #50172

Power dynamics in partner communication: Gender and dual protection

Lakshmi Goparaju, PhD1, Victoria Wells, MD, DrPh1, Dela K. Afenyadu, BSc2, and Gifty Alema-Mensah3. (1) CEDPA, 1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036, 202-667-1142,, (2) Keads Development services, P.O. Box KA 30501, Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, (3) CEDPA/Ghana, 1 Circular Road, Midwives House, Contonment, Accra, Ghana

Partner communication plays an important role in adopting dual protection strategies—particularly dual methods. To be able to discuss possibilities of multiple partners, and prevention of pregnancy and disease, both partners need to be able to communicate with equal power, understanding and respect for each other’s health. This research focuses on men’s and women’s perspectives regarding dual protection, based on 12 focus group discussions with adolescents and young men and women in Ghana. They all recognize the social context of multiple partner sex and the need for dual protection. However, they are angry, upset and afraid to consider adopting it. Often, men are not willing to adopt dual protection even when they would otherwise use condoms. When they are willing, want to limit it only to certain situations. For example they are willing to use condoms/dual protection with their casual partners but refuse to do so with regular partners. Yet, they do not tolerate women providing condoms in short-term relations. Women are afraid to ask for dual protection, afraid of being suspected and dumped, and prefer to seek indirect ways. Men reported that they would get angry, suspect the women and consider severing relationships if they ask for dual protection. This paper presents men’s and women’s perspectives on dual protection in Ghana and discusses implications to condom use and dual protection in particular and gender power relations in general.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Gender, Communication

Related Web page: None

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Men As Partners: International Perspectives

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA