Most of what we know about the nature of the contraceptive decision-making process in which couples engage was obtained by analyzing reports from women about their fertility-related beliefs, attitudes, preferences and experiences. However, the growth of the AIDS epidemic has increased awareness that men have an important role in influencing the reproductive health of heterosexual couples. Despite this awareness, there is very little research on the contraceptive choices of couples that is based on data from both partners. In the proposed study, we will address this large research gap. We will accomplish this goal by conducting an in-person survey of approximately 1,200 married and cohabiting couples where the female partner is aged 20-35, where neither partner is sterile and where the couple is not currently pregnant or attempting to conceive. This survey, in which we will obtain separate, parallel reports from both partners, will provide unique and detailed data on the power relations, birth desires, and method-related expectancies, values, perceptions, preferences, and behaviors of men and women making contraceptive choices within the context of an intimate heterosexual relationship. Most importantly, the proposed analysis of these data, together with the data obtained in a one-year telephone follow-up survey, will allow us to gain new insights into the nature of the contraceptive decision-making process in which couples engage. In particular, it will inform us about how men are involved in that process and how their involvement is related to both the types of methods that couples choose and the effectiveness with which they use them. Such information will help family planning service providers determine when and how to include male partners in the method selection process as a way of helping couples achieve their separate and joint reproductive goals.
|Grady, William R; Klepinger, Daniel H; Billy, John O G et al. (2010) The role of relationship power in couple decisions about contraception in the US. J Biosoc Sci 42:307-23|