Research Finds Filipino Males Have Positive Influence on Family Planning

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Manila,Philippines, September 2011 – Why is it important to involve and educate Filipino males in family planning (FP) matters? Isn’t fertility, childbearing and determining family size more directly affected by women?

Not quite, a recent study has shown. Male Involvement in Family Planning*, by Dr. Clarissa C. David, is part of a research project called The Effects of Male Involvement in Family Planning Decisions, which seeks to explore the influences of men on family planning-related decisions, including FP method choice and fertility decisions.

The paper found that the more a man knows about FP, the more likely it is for the couple to use modern FP methods – particularly for more effective methods such as injectable contraceptives and tubal ligation.

Male approval of contraceptive use is crucial, then, but surprisingly not all males who approve of contraceptives actually use them. “The challenge then is translating approval to use,” the paper stated, recommending targeting the approval group with specifically crafted campaigns that address the possibly structural barriers to their use of contraceptives.

Targeting the right group of people with the right intervention is particularly important, especially when the data revealed some startling conclusions:

  • Women who are more highly educated are more likely to approve of contraceptive use, but highly educated men are less likely to approve.
  • Women who have more knowledge about reproductive health are more likely to express approval while men who know more are less likely to approve.
  • Women in rural areas are less likely to approve while men in rural areas are more likely to approve.

This pattern supports the paper’s assertion that “male involvement in family planning decisions, including contraceptive use, should first be examined more closely before interventions aimed at encouraging the nature of their involvement as there may be situations for which the effects might be in the opposite direction of what is desired.”

The Effects of Male Involvement in Family Planning Decisions study is funded by the Philippine Center for Population and Development (PCPD) through the UPCollege ofMass Communication Foundation, Inc. (UP-CMCFI).

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Contact: Ms. Fely Rixhon, Executive Director, PCPD

Tel: (63 2) 843 4061 Fax: (63 2) 894 4696

Access The Effects of Male Involvement in Family Planning Decisions research reports at

*Methodology: Data used in this study are from the 2003 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and conducted at regular intervals since 1984. The dataset is from a nationally representative sample of Filipino women 15-49 years old and men 15-54 years old. Each respondent answered questions about fertility, reproduction, family planning and contraceptive use, maternal and child health, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and nutrition.

The 2003 NDHS data has a sample size of n (couples)=2,380 matched male-female questionnaires, that is, where the interviewees are couples and responses by the females about decision-making in the household and contraceptive use apply to the male as well as the female.


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