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Stud Fam Plann. 1997 Jun;28(2):104-21.

Estimates and explanations of gender differentials in contraceptive prevalence rates.

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  • 1Francophone Africa, Demographic and Health Surveys, Macro International, Calverton, MD 20705, USA.


This article examines gender differentials in the reporting of contraceptive use and offers explanations regarding the sources of these differences. Data from five countries where DHS surveys were conducted recently among men and women are used in exploring these differences. The gap exists in all five countries, with men (or husbands) reporting greater practice of contraception than women (or wives). Results from the bivariate analysis suggest that the gap is attributable to polygyny and to gender differences in how the purpose of contraception is understood, rather than to male extramarital sexual relations. Additionally, gender differences in the definition of certain contraceptive methods and differences in the interpretation of questions about contraception contribute to the observed gap. These findings are also consistent with results of the multivariate analysis.

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