Academic journal article International Journal of Men's Health

Attitudes toward and Use of Knowledge about Family Planning among Ghanaian Men

Academic journal article International Journal of Men's Health

Attitudes toward and Use of Knowledge about Family Planning among Ghanaian Men

Article excerpt

This study examines knowledge of and attitudes about family planning and its use by a convenience sample of men in Ghana. It considers sociocultural factors such as spousal communication and cultural misconceptions about family planning that contribute to the low level of male involvement in use of contraceptives by men in Ghana. The findings indicate that demographic factors such as education, religion, types of marital relationship, and exposure to mass-media education have significant effects on the participants' increased knowledge, changing attitudes, and practices of family planning and reproductive decision-making. The study identifies sociocultural misconceptions resulting from lack of knowledge and education as the main deterrents for the use of different family planning methods including vasectomy. The study calls for further research and male-friendly programs that would clarify myths surrounding the use of contraceptive devices, their benefits and effects on the physiology of the users.

Keywords: family planning, contraception, spousal communication, population, vasectomy, male, Ghana

**********

This study examines knowledge of and attitudes about family planning and its use by a convenience sample of men in Ghana. It considers sociocultural factors such as spousal communication and cultural misconceptions about family planning that contribute to the low level of male involvement in use of contraceptives by men in Ghana. The findings indicate that demographic factors such as education, religion and types of marital relationship and exposure to mass-media education have significant effects on the participants' increased knowledge, changing attitudes, and practices of family planning and reproductive decision-making. The study identifies sociocultural misconceptions resulting from lack of knowledge and education as the main deterrents for the use of different family planning devices including vasectomy. The study calls for further research and male-friendly programs that would clarify myths surrounding the use of contraceptive devices, their benefits and effects on the physiology of the users.

Introduction

Population growth continues to undermine economic and social development efforts in Ghana. In 1960, the population of the country was 6.7 million, and by 1984, it had increased to 12.3 million. The 2000 population census indicated that there were 18.9 million people living in Ghana (Ghana Trend Report, 2005). In 1967, the country adopted its first comprehensive population policy due to rapid population growth and high fertility rates. In 1994 a new population policy replaced the old one with the commitment of reducing population growth from its present level of 3 percent to 2 percent per annum. The policy has the intention of increasing family planning practice among the citizens in order to attain a balanced economy as well as to achieve a middle-income status and standard of living in the country (Adlakha, 1996).

Traditionally, reproductive decision-making within the Ghanaian family rests not only with the married couple but also with other members of their extended family and lineage members (Nukunya, 1992). However, the consequences of the decision on family size rest squarely on the woman, as she is usually responsible for the care of the offspring of the marriage. As a result, family planning programs and reproductive health issues and services have tended to be directed solely to women (Bleek, 1987).

Estimates from the 1998 Ghana Demographic Health Survey (Ghana Statistical Service, 1999) indicated that modern contraceptive prevalence doubled from 5 percent in 1988 to 10 percent in 1993, and increased to 13 percent by 1998 with a steady increase in the use of oral and other contraceptives including condoms. According to Becker and Costenbader (2001), contraception is now predominately female-oriented, and because only women give birth, fertility surveys have questioned only women given their stake in terms of risks of pregnancy and childbirth. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.