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Stud Fam Plann. 1990 Jan-Feb;21(1):33-9.

Fertility and family planning in Jordan: results from the 1985 Jordan Husbands' Fertility Survey.

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Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Chronic Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


The 1985 Jordan Husbands' Fertility Survey (JHFS) was designed to assess husbands' attitudes and behavior toward fertility and family planning. The 1985 JHFS was a follow-up survey to obtain data from husbands of women who were currently married in the 1983 Jordan Fertility and Family Health Survey (JFFHS). The results from the 1985 JHFS point to the usefulness of collecting fertility and family planning information from husbands. These findings showed that nearly 40 percent of the husbands do not believe in practicing contraception, and more than 50 percent of the husbands report that family size should be "up to God." How program officials address these issues will be important for the future success of the family planning program in Jordan.


The 1985 Jordan Husband's Fertility Survey (JHFS) was established to analyze husband's attitudes to birth spacing, breastfeeding, and family planning; compare husband's attitudes to family planning to their wives' attitudes; and to analyze husband's contraceptive usage. The 1985 JHFS was a follow-up to the 1983 Jordan Fertility and Family Health Survey (JFFHS). Currently married women who were used in the 1983 JFFHS (women 15-49 who lived on the East Bank of the Jordan River) were used as the sampling base for the 1985 study. 2626 interviews were done in 1985. In 1983, Jordan's total fertility rate was 6.6 for a yearly growth rate of 3%. More than 50% of the husbands in 1985 said that family size was "up to God." This was especially so in rural areas, and among less educated husbands. Jordan had the shortest birth interval of any country studied in the World Fertility Survey (WFS). In the 1983 study, the birth interval was 27 months. More than 60% of the husbands believed a birth interval of 25 months was ideal. 29 months was the husband's average desired interval. Husbands favored prolonged breastfeeding, believing it should last for 21 months, twice the actual reported time. 5% of the husbands believed that breastfeeding should last "as long as possible." Higher social status husbands believed in a shorter breastfeeding period than lower status ones. Less educated husbands believed in longer breastfeeding duration than more educated ones. Knowledge of family planning methods in 1985 is compared with their wives' knowledge in 1983. For each method, wives knew more than husbands. The overall usage level by husbands in 2985 was 26.5%, almost identical with the wives in 1983. 49% of the husbands said that they "do not believe in practicing contraception." These husbands do not feel that they should discuss family planning with their wives. Family planning programs in Jordan should be aimed at husbands.

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