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Health Care Women Int. 2002 Sep-Nov;23(6-7):516-29.

Jordanian men's attitudes and views of birth-spacing and contraceptive use (a qualitative approach).

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  • 1Faculty of Nursing, The Hashemite University of Jordan, Zarka, Jordan.


This qualitative study was carried out to understand the meaning that Jordanian men attach to birth-spacing/family planning and to identify their attitudes and practices regarding contraceptives. Six focus group discussions were conducted over a 3-month period starting April 1996, with each group containing 6-10 men. The sample consisted of Jordanian men residing in Amman. Education, social class, and marital status stratified men's selection. The discussions were moderated by a social psychologist of the same sex. With respondents' consent, data gathered in the discussion groups were tape-recorded, transcribed, and critically analyzed using the content analysis method. The researchers found that there was a consensus among all men about the link between the concept of birth-spacing/family planning and the concept of better health for the mother and the child. Yet, the practice of contraception was influenced by some religious and cultural beliefs including that of "RIZK" (or fortune) which comes when the child is born. Moreover, some knowledge deficits concerning modern methods of contraception, and their side effects in particular, were noted. Some unfavorable attitudes of men for themselves using male contraceptives were also noted. Most men in the study indicated that spousal communication takes place on issues related to family planning, but the final decision is, in most cases, left to the husband alone (the head of the house). The demand for an increasing number of male children and the resistance of males to use condoms were among the most prevalent unexpected phenomena noticed in this study. The study concludes by recommending that special attention be directed to males when delivering family planning services.

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