Male Involvement in Family Planning: A Case Study Spanning Five Generations of a South Indian Family

University of Michigan, USA.
Studies in Family Planning (Impact Factor: 1.28). 04/1997; 28(1):24-34. DOI: 10.2307/2137968
Source: PubMed


Family planning program planners often view men as gatekeepers who, if involved in reproductive decisionmaking, will thwart women's efforts to regulate fertility. This study examines fertility decisions made by five generations of one South Indian family and the factors affecting its sudden observed fertility decline. Male involvement in family planning and use of male methods are associated with the fertility decline and resulted in long-term benefits for women. Traditional notions about gender roles and family, in addition to economic concerns, shaped fertility decisionmaking. Individual motivation rather than choice of methods was more important for positive male participation in family planning.

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    • "Gender reshaping and targeting men in family planning services will have the potential to impact men’s behaviour and actions. Some studies have revealed that where men are involved in family planning services it led to greater uptake [23,24]. In involving men in such strategies, it is important to attribute vasectomy to responsibility and care as this may have a far reaching effect and increase vasectomy uptake. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Male involvement in contraceptive use is increasingly becoming a global reproductive health issue. Vasectomy is one of the two male modern contraceptive methods espoused by the National Family Planning Policy in Ghana. Despite these advocacies, there are reports of low patronage of this method in Ghana. This study adhering to RATS guidelines on qualitative research therefore explored the social and cultural factors that may be affecting the low vasectomy uptake in Southern Ghana. Methods: The study was conducted in Sefwi Bibiani-Ahwiaso Bekwai (SBAB) District and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipal area in the Western and Central regions of Ghana respectively. Twelve Focus Group Discussions were held with both male and female community members. In-depth interviews were also carried out with Community Health Officers (CHOs), Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and health managers at both the district and regional levels. The discussions and interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using Nvivo 10. Results: The study revealed that vasectomy was perceived as an act against God, which was punishable either by death or answerable on judgement day. Vasectomy was also perceived to be a form of castration, which can make men weak and incapable, thereby unable to satisfy their wives sexually, leading to marital conflicts. Women were more concerned about the negative effects of vasectomy on men. Cafalgin and panacin which are locally manufactured analgesics were perceived to have contraceptive abilities and therefore used by men as an alternative to modern contraceptive methods. Conclusions: Stigma and the misconceptions in the community may be accounting for the low vasectomy uptake in Ghana despite several advocacy strategies. Women were highly influential in a man's decision on vasectomy. This calls for the need to increase health education to demystify the misconceptions about vasectomy. Vasectomy-related campaign messages should target both men and women. Keywords: Vasectomy, Pregnancy, Family Planning, Male involvement, Southern Ghana
    BMC International Health and Human Rights 05/2014; 14(14). DOI:10.1186/1472-698X-14-16 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    • "First, it involves as " preconditions " or " resources " men's attitudes about some crucial aspects of women's empowerment. A growing body of literature highlights the need to acknowledge the dynamics of couple relationships in the field of women's empowerment studies, especially concerning the male involvement in the promotion of reproductive and child health (Kumar et al., 2009; Karra et al., 1997; Barker and Schulte, 2010). But limited attention has been paid to men's perception of women's role in intrahousehold relationships and in the social context as factors that have a potential to influence women's behaviours and the agency process. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper employs the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (2004) to explore the relationship between participation in microcredit programs and women’s empowerment using a structural equation model with categorical observed variables. A MCMC-based Bayesian approach is adopted for estimation. Along with participation in microcredit, we consider a variety of sociocultural aspects as potential predictors of empowerment in the Bangladeshi context including men’s perceptions about women’s status. We conclude that gender community norms are strongly rooted in women’s minds regardless of the partners’ perceptions of women’s status, and microcredit interventions may actually contribute to change gender beliefs and social attitudes.
    DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali; 12/2013
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    • "For this reason, FP services were offered within maternal and child health centres, whereas research and information campaigns were tailored to the needs of women with the hope that FP services targeting women will help them to achieve a sustainable socio-economic development and protect their health [9,10]. However, evidence suggests that programme that have involved men and encouraged the use of male methods have led to a drop in fertility and the overall development of women [11]. Men are able to better place their reproductive intentions, promote good decisions for the benefit of their wives when they are made active participants in service delivery programmes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reproductive health and Family Planning (FP) services have been of global concern especially in developing countries where fertility rates are high. Traditionally FP services had always targeted females with little or no attention given to males. To ensure equitable distribution of health services, Ministry of Health (MOH), Ghana adopted the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) as a nationwide health policy with the aim of reducing obstacles to physical and geographical access to health care delivery including FP services. However, not much is known about the extent to which this policy has contributed to male involvement in FP services. This qualitative descriptive study was therefore designed to explore male involvement in FP services in communities with well functioning CHPS and those with less or no functioning CHPS structures. The study further solicited views of the community on the health status of children. This was a qualitative descriptive study and adapted the design of an ongoing study to assess the impact of male involvement in FP referred to as the Navrongo experiment in Northern Ghana. Twelve focus group discussions were held with both male and female community members, six in communities with functional CHPS and six for communities with less/no-functional CHPS. In addition, fifty- nine (59) in-depth interviews were held with Community Health Officers (CHOs), Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and Health Managers at both the districts and regional levels. The interviews and discussions were tape recorded digitally, transcribed and entered into QSR Nvivo 10(C) for analysis. The results revealed a general high perception of an improved health status of children in the last ten years in the communities. These improvements were attributed to immunization of children, exclusive breastfeeding, health education given to mothers on childcare, growth monitoring of children and accessible health care. Despite these achievements in the health of children, participants reported that malnutrition was still rife in the community. The results also revealed that spousal approval was still relevant for women in the use of contraceptives; however, the matrilineal system appears to give more autonomy to women in decision-making. The CHPS strategy was perceived as very helpful with full community participation at all levels of the implementation process. Males were more involved in FP services in communities with functioning CHPS than those without functioning CHPS. The CHPS strategy has increased access to FP services but spousal consent was very important in the use of FP services. Involving males in reproductive health issues including FP is important to attain reproductive health targets.
    Reproductive Health 07/2013; 10(1):36. DOI:10.1186/1742-4755-10-36 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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