Examining the association between men's gender equitable attitudes and contraceptive outcomes in rural Maharashtra, India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: Previous literature suggests that men reporting more gender-equitable attitudes are more likely to use condoms, but there is a paucity of data evaluating whether these attitudes are associated with contraceptive communication and use. The objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that men reporting more gender-equitable attitudes will be more likely to (a) engage in contraceptive communication with their wives and (b) that they and/or their wives will be more likely to use all forms of family planning, compared to men with less equitable attitudes. Methods: Using cross-sectional dyadic survey data from young married couples from rural Maharashtra, India (N = 989), we assessed the associations between men's gender role attitudes and a) spousal contraceptive communication and b) contraceptive use by type (none, traditional, condoms, pills, or IUD). The contraceptive use outcome is based on wives' report. We assessed these associations via bivariate t-test (communication outcome) or ANOVA test (contraceptive type outcome), as well as unadjusted and adjusted logistic (communication outcome) and multinomial logistic (contraceptive type outcome) regression models. Adjusted models included sociodemographic factors selected a priori based on established associations with gender-equitable attitudes and/or our assessed outcomes. Findings: Men with more gender-equitable attitudes were more likely to discuss family planning with their wives (AOR = 1·05, 95%CI 1·03-1·07, p < 0·001) and to use condoms (ARRR = 1·03, 95%CI 1·00-1·06, p = 0·07). There was no association between gender-equitable attitudes and use of other types of contraception. Interpretation: While gender-equitable attitudes among men may facilitate condom use and family planning communication in marriage, they do not appear to be linked with greater likelihood of use of more effective types of contraceptive use. This suggests that males supportive of gender equity may take greater responsibility for family planning vis a vis a less effective contraceptive, condoms, in the absence of more effective short-acting contraceptives for men.






Enhancing Male Participation in Interventions to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy (CHARM 2)