From the perspective of developing countries, we know relatively little about married adolescent males and adolescent fathers, and much of what we know is inferred from research with young women or comes from a few specific regions in the world. However, there has been a growing interest in the issue on the part of researchers, policy-makers, and program staff. This interest has coincided with increasing attention in general to men, with gender studies, and with sexual and reproductive health initiatives. Early marriage and early childbearing are much more prevalent among young women than young men, and the negative consequences are more significant among young women. Nonetheless, it is the behavior and attitudes of men, within social contexts where gender hierarchies favor men over women, that often create young women’s vulnerability. Much of the research and literature on adolescent fathers comes from Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. This paper reviews some of the literature on young married men and young fathers, concluding with suggestions for engaging young men to promote better reproductive and sexual health and more favorable life outcomes for married adolescent women and young men.
Barker, Gary, Jorge Lyra, and Benedito Medrado. 2004. "The roles, responsibilities, and realities of married adolescent males and adolescent fathers: A brief literature review," paper prepared for the WHO/UNFPA/Population Council Technical Consultation on Married Adolescents. New York: Population Council.