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Dacca, Bangladesh, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, April 1977. 41 p.Reports on a survey conducted to identify the formal and informal opinion leaders as perceived by the people of Bangladesh, and to assess their attitude towards family planning. Findings indicate that the contraception practice rate among opinion leaders is significantly higher than the average, and it is recommended that specific orientation and training in the skills of interpersonal and group communication be arranged for them to effect a transfer of motivation to the people in their locality. Also established is the fact that obstacles to family planning due to religious belief is more a function of the leaders' perception of people's attitude than a function of reality. Opinion leaders fail to identify population as the root problem, so that family planning education should be structured around the felt problems of food, unemployment, poverty, and so forth. The need for a greater degree of husband-wife communication about family planning is indicated, as well as a change in the traditional status of women. A family planning program with an incentive-disincentive aspect should be deemphasized. Finally, the survey reveals that the local leadership is not yet ready to take major responsibility in family planning communication.
SEXUAL HEALTH EXCHANGE. 1998; (3):4.Two decades of Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK) advocacy of husband-wife communication and cooperation in family planning led Hong Kong's population to finally accept the notion of male responsibility in family planning. Recent surveys have documented high rates of male contraceptive use. The FPAHK established its first clinic to provide men with birth control advice and services in 1960, then set up a vasectomy clinic and installed condom vending machines. Working against prevailing traditional beliefs that childbearing is the exclusive domain of women and that vasectomy harms one's health, the FPAHK began campaigns to motivate men to take a positive and active role in family planning and to correct misinformation on vasectomy. Successful FPAHK efforts to stimulate male support for family planning include the 1977 "Mr. Family Planning" campaign, the 1982 "Family Planning - Male Responsibilities" campaign, and the 1986-87 "Mr. Able" campaign. Although these campaigns ended in the 1980s, men may now be counseled on contraception at 3 of the 8 FPAHK-run birth control clinics.
Perceptions of family planning and reproductive health issues: focus group discussions in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs, 1997 Aug. xiii, 80 p. (Field Report No. 10)In preparation for a planned expansion of reproductive health services in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, focus groups were conducted to gain an understanding of contraceptive knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the audience targeted for contraceptive promotion. The field work began with a pilot project involving 103 married men and women in 12 focus group sessions in and around Tashkent, Uzbekistan in December 1993. This pilot study led to development of a discussion guide adapted for use in all four countries, and 96 focus groups discussions involving 888 married men and women were held in three different regions of each country. Additional focus group sessions in each country involved participants specifically targeted by the new program. The results revealed differences among the countries but could be generalized to develop a regional IEC (information, education, communication) approach. This report opens with an introduction describing background information on the region and the study methodology. The next four chapters present results and conclusions for each country in terms of the following topics that were discussed: perceptions on age at first marriage, fertility preference and family size, attitudes towards family planning (FP), knowledge and awareness of FP methods, FP communication between husbands and wives, available sources of FP information, and additional perspectives. Chapter 6 covers the following issues that can be used to plan a regional approach to reproductive health: the quality of family life, male responsibility, abortion, communication about side effects, provider knowledge and skills, the role of religion, and the symbolic environment.
Social Science and Medicine. 1991; 33(8):897-907.The distinction and interrelation between sexual ideology and sexual experience in society, using ethnographical and anthropological data from the Bumbita Arapesh of the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea, are explored. While anthropological data have been employed to study sexual ideologies and myth in varied cultures, comparatively little work has focused upon sexual realities in local contexts. Among the Bumbita Arapesh, yam horticulturalists who number approximately 3000 in 14 small villages, men are traditionally and publicly held as dominant over women in sexual relations. Both sexes hold men to be sexual conquerors of women, devoid of emotional attachment, intimacy, and concern for the woman. 60 private personal interviews with 10 adults, and traditional ethnographic questions, however, show the sexual reality between men and women to be quite different from that promulgated by sexual myth. Women, out of concerns over the health of their children and/or the desire to limit the number of offspring, regularly deny sex to their husbands. The prevailing reality for longterm couples is, therefore, one in which women exercise great control over the sexual behavior of their male partners. Women do, however, play more subservient roles in short-term, adolescent encounters, and during courtship for longterm relationships. Also, counter to ideology, males are often anxious in the period subsequent to committing to marriage and prior to its consummation. Concerned over the potential physical pain of sexual intercourse, and the trials of sex and marriage, young male teenagers prepare by ritualistically incising a small part of their foreskins. Ideology about sexual behavior is closely tied to gender definitions of men and women, with the intimate realities, emotions, and misgivings over competence suppressed by both sexes. In circular fashion, ideology influences experience, while experience animates ideology.
Social Science and Medicine. 1992 Jan; 34(1):63-73.Data from eastern and central sub-Saharan Africa suggest that women in countries of the region are increasingly at risk for HIV infection. Poverty, malnutrition, uncontrolled fertility, complications of childbirth, and sex behavior associated with male/female rural-urban migration are contributory factors. While much may go into preventing the transmission of HIV, the cooperative participation of both sex partners is certainly required. Further, while campaigns may educate both men and women of the need to limit the number and choice of sex partners, and use condoms during intercourse, they may fail to recognize the highly unfeasible nature of these behavioral changes for the majority of sub-Saharan African women. Marginally included in the development process, and poorly empowered to make decisions regarding male or female sexuality, women are largely subject to the sexual demands and economic rewards of their male sex partners. Husbands and/or other sex partners may strongly resist or refuse to employ condoms during sexual intercourse. Social expectations and/or economic necessity, however, often dictate a woman's compliance with the man's choice despite her desire to use a condom. HIV transmission and the risk to women and children, national development and the status of women, accommodation to economic scarcity, altering high-risk behavior, symbolic approaches to behavior change, and methodological issues in the study of these issues are discussed. Research is then proposed on understanding the meaning of AIDS, the context and norms of decision making, the norms of sexual behavior, the gatekeepers of sexual behavior change, the economic determinants of sexual risk, womens perceptions of control, and gender-sensitive strategies for reducing the risk of AIDS. Such research will provide a better understanding of how women perceive and respond to AIDS prevention interventions, and will constitute a necessary 1st step toward increasing male participation in protecting themselves and their families.
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)