176928 Young men's understanding of hormonal contraception: Knowing me, knowing you

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:30 PM

Paul G. Whittaker, PhD , Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA
Rebecca Merkh, MA , Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA
Kaysee Baker, MS , Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA
Linda Hock-Long, PhD , Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA
Kay Armstrong, MA , Consultant, Drexel Hill, PA
Couples-focused contraceptive services represent an emerging and relatively unexplored area of reproductive health. In order to design programs that assist young men in supporting women's consistent and correct use of hormonal contraception, a better understanding is needed of men's knowledge, attitudes, norms and behaviors regarding pregnancy prevention. To this end, we conducted an ethnographic investigation of 149 ethnically diverse young adults (18-25 years). This presentation will focus on findings from contraceptive life-history interviews with 41 heterosexually active males. They discussed their first and up to six subsequent sexual partners, and illustrated their experiences regarding hormonal contraception use, decision-making and communication. We found wide variation in male attitudes and behaviors regarding their role in pregnancy prevention, from obsessive concern to uncaring. Similarly, their attitudes and norms varied regarding method choice and use. Some believed women should have complete control, others felt male views should be included. Several men had concerns about trusting some partners to use hormonal contraceptives effectively. The data suggested that some men's lack of knowledge about hormonal methods can adversely affect their partner's method use. We found that attitudes and practice regarding talking and deciding about contraception are influenced by a complex interplay of factors such as relationship context and expectations. These factors operate in a milieu where most partner and method choices are not fixed. Understanding the variety of young men's knowledge and roles regarding hormonal contraception will help in designing programs that address incorrect method knowledge, method communication, contraceptive switching and unintended pregnancy.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the variety of young menís attitudes and experiences regarding hormonal contraception. Develop an understanding of male views on potential barriers and facilitators to effective contraceptive use. Identify strategies for program development involving young men in contraceptive use.

Keywords: Male Reproductive Health, Contraception

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in the research work and writing of the abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.