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AMERICAN MEDICAL NEWS. 1990 Oct 19; 7-8.The mission of the Media Project of the Center for Population Options is to encourage the entertainment industry to provide adolescents with positive and realistic message about sexuality and family planning. The project has specifically targeted television as a way to reach teens because they not only watch TV but what they see influences their behavior. According to the project's director, "they emulate their favorite characters." A 1986 Louis Harris poll found that teen-agers ranked TV as the 4th most important source of information, out of 11 choices, on sex and birth control. A study of the 1986 prime-time television season discovered a tremendous amount of sexual references and innuendo in the programs. They found touching behaviors (24.5 times/hour); suggestions and innuendo (16.5 times/hour); sexual intercourse (implied 25 times/hour); and socially taboo behaviors such as sadomasochism and masturbation (intimated 6.2 times/hour). In contrast, education information was only given 1.6 times/hour. There are few references to birth control or responsible conversations about sexual intimacy. The Los Angeles-based media project has 3 program components. These components include a media advisory service that provides creative and technical assistance, an information series designed for consciousness raising, and an awards program. The advisory service sends out background sheets on health-related issues and provides story and script consultation. The information series has inspired industry professionals to integrate messages about teenage sexuality and responsible sex into the TV dramas. The project received 380 requests for information during 1990. The project has also sponsored an annual media awards program since 1983. The awards program is a forum where producers get positive attention for a job well done.
WASHINGTON POST. 1987 Feb 3; E1, E8.This newspaper feature story documents how the major U.S. television networks are breaking their self censorship of mentioning contraception and sexual responsibility in programs and advertisements. The first direct screening of word "condom" occurred on the series "Cagney and Lacey" in January 1988, followed by screening an image of a condom package on "Valerie" in February. At the same time, some stations are broadcasting tasteful 15-second ads for condoms. Phrases used in these ads included "for all the right reasons," and "I'll do a lot for love...but I'm not ready to die for it." It is likely that the threat of AIDS has prompted the revolutionary airing of the forbidden word during family viewing hours. The public response, particularly that of educators, has been largely favorable, although a Catholic spokesman complained that the ads encourage illicit sex purely to enlarge market share of condom markers. Five references to the value of sexual responsibility were cited on prime time shows in recent months. The vice president of CBS said that the network was trying to do anything that would help prevent AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. They have permitted no reference to practice of contraception in programming so far, even though characters are frequently shown in sexually explicit situations.
Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre, 1973. 30 p. (IDRC-009e)This paper evaluates the progress of a Latin American population through stages in family planning adoption. The focus is on changes in knowledge of contraception, attitudes, and practices which occurred over 5 years (1964-69) of widespread public discussion concerning family planning and of program activity in Bogota, Colombia. Data from 2 surveys, 1 in 1964 and the other in 1969, permit the 1st temporal analysis of family planning adoption for a major metropolitan city in Latin America. Additional data on rural and small urban areas of Colombia from the 2nd survey permit a limited assessment of diffusion of family planning from the city to the nation as a whole. The 1st survey in Bogota revealed moderate to high levels of knowledge of contraceptive methods and generally favorable attitudes to birth limitation. However, at this time many women had never spoken to their husbands about the number of children they wanted, nor tried a contraceptive method at any time. The 2nd survey showed substantial changes in this picture. The proportion of currently mated women who had spoken to their husbands about family size preference changed from 43 to 62% for an increase of 71%. Fertility fell appreciably over this period, especially among younger women. Family planning program services had a significant direct contribution to the adoption process, since 36% of mated women had been to a clinic by 1969. The most modern methods of birth control -- the anovulatory pill and the intrauterine device -- which were scarcely known in 1964 were widely known in 1969, and contributed most to the observed increase in current contraceptive practice. However, among the previously known methods, the simplest method of all, withdrawal (coitus interruptus), showed the greatest increase in current practice and remained the most commonly used method. These findings suggest that favorable attitudes and knowledge tend to become rather widespread before levels of husband-wife discussion of family size preferences and levels of contraceptive trial increase appreciably. The results also indicate that contraceptive knowledge and favorable family planning attitudes are spreading rapidly outward from the cities into the rural areas, but that contraceptive practice is still predominantly restricted to urban populations. (author's)
Journal of Communication. 1985 Spring; 35(2):69-81.Diaspora Jewry is being diminished in numbers by intermarriage, assimilation, and a low birth rate. In Israel, the establishment has strongly pronatalist convictions and tends to see family planning as synonymous with promotion of the use of contraception to limit births. In 1978 and 1979, a series of programs entitled "It's Not A Children's Game" was broadcast on Israel's state-owned radio broadcasting system. The motto of the series was "to help families have as many children as they want, when they want them." Its goals were to give the public basic information about services and about various means of contraception or of fertility improvement. The letters to the radio station in response to these programs are analyzed in this study. Based on the form and content of the letters, one is able to derive information about the marital status, sex, residence, and religious observance of the letter writers and to classify them as primarily help-seekers or opinion-givers. Help-seeking letters were usually very clear and direct in their requests for help. The opinion-giving letters ranged from strongly negative to strongly positive about the program and the theme of family planning. These letters can provide insights about the specific group of people who sought information or help outside of their immediate surroundings. Thus, an analysis of the written responses to a radio series on family planning suggests that radio can offer a nonthreatening way to disseminate information on sensitive and controversial social issues, and that it is possible to tentatively identify subgroups with special needs.
In: McDaniel EB, ed. Second Asian Regional Workshop on Injectable Contraceptives. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, World Neighbors, 1982. 74-83.To prevent anti Depo-Provera publicity family planning associations have used a number of techniques. They have helped to create positive attitudes to family planning by identifying, contacting, and informing decision makers and community opinion leaders. They have also pinpointed the opposition and tried to find areas of agreement. The author suggests that in reassuring the public serious concerns about Depo-Provera should be investigated and corrected and that a possible complication should not be covered up. The anti Depo-Provera publicity is mostly concentrated in the international women's movement and it is suggested to try to establish communication with women's groups which are not completely opposed to Depo-Provera. Planning family planning with a broader social context has depended on adjusting family planning programs to local development needs. If family planning organizations are seen as helping with community health and better living conditions there might be more positive attitudes toward the use of Depo-Provera as a family planning product. Successful Depo-Provera users also need to be encouraged to speak openly, especially if they are in influential positions. In addition journalists can be invited to hear the positive arguments for Depo-Provera and about family planning organizations in general, and if the confidence of the journalism community is gained then the family planning organization will be asked for its viewpoint more often. Some suggestions for creating good relations with media are: 1) hold press lunches, 2) hold informal briefings, 3) mail background information, 4) have third party medical support with the media, and 5) always be prepared to answer questions.
Bangkok, Ministry of Public Health, National Family Planning Programme, Thai Population Clearing-House-Documentation Centre, 1983 Jan. 101 p. (ASEAN/Australian Project No. 3: Developing/Strengthening National Population Information Ststems and Networks in ASEAN Countries)To study the flow of population information from the producers to the users in Thailand and to evaluate the use of population information by the user groups, users were divided into 3 groups--policy makers and acamedicians, program implementors, and the general public. Data were collected by mail questionnaire. Among the policy makers and the academicians, basic demographic data were the most utilized. Academicians indicated that data on population and family planning were consistent with their needs. Considering usefulness of the data for their work, data on family planning policy and birth control were the most useful for makers while basic demographic data were the most useful for academicians. Data on urbanization, law, and population policy of other countries seemed to be the least utilized and the least useful. The policy makers did not receive enough information on: population and social and economic development, production and consumption of agricultural products, population education, and law and population policy of Thailand. The academicians did not receive enough information on almost all 13 topics except information about population policy and birth control, services, and administration. Both groups indicated that the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) was the major source of the data they received. The policy implementors dealt with documents and printing materials in family planning and indicated that the "Journal of Family Health", format was suitable. Regarding the programmed manual or lessons in family planning, the implementors indicated that they were interesting and consistent with their needs. Regarding the kit, the folder, sampling of contraceptive devices, and the model of the uterus were the most utilized materials. The implementors indicated that folders on 6 types of contraceptive methods were useful and adequate for their work. The study directed to the general public dealt with information in family planning disseminated through radio and posters. 2 types of programs were transmitted the radio: song supplemented with information on family planning and drama supplemented with information. The public indicated that the 1st type was a good and interesting program. The respondents evaluated the drama program as good. The majority of the respondents had seen the posters about family planning and indicated a fair amount of interest in them.