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Contraception. 2009 Mar;79(3):228-35. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.10.007. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Young unmarried men's understanding of female hormonal contraception.

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Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.



A better understanding of men's attitudes, norms and behaviors regarding women's use of hormonal contraception is needed.


We conducted contraceptive life-history interviews with 41 ethnically diverse males ages 18-25 years which detailed up to six heterosexual relationships, focusing on knowledge, attitudes, norms and behaviors regarding hormonal contraception use, decision making and communication.


Men's attitudes, norms and behaviors associated with hormonal contraceptive decisions and use varied greatly across participants and their relationships. Findings suggest a mixture of attitudes and practices regarding the importance of communication around contraception influenced by sexual experiences, age and relationship type. Many men demonstrated limited knowledge about contraceptives and identified improving contraceptive knowledge as an essential step in facilitating contraceptive communication.


Increased awareness about young men's understanding of and perceived roles regarding hormonal contraception will help in designing services that address contraceptive adherence, contraceptive communication and incorrect or inadequate contraceptive knowledge.

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