Manila, Philippines, September 2011 – When it comes to the number of children desired by a couple, a man’s preference has more weight – and a Filipino male will generally prefer a larger brood, recent research has shown.
According to Fertility Preferences and Family Planning Use Among Filipino Males* by Dr. Clarissa C. David and Jenna Mae Atun, “Males’ fertility goals may play a greater deciding role within couples than the females’, the consequence of which would be more children since men generally want more than women.” And while the number of children desired by women decreases over the generations; males, whether young or old, universally want more children.
Research also found that the earlier a male has his first child, the more children he will likely have over his lifetime. This is disconcerting when coupled with the fact that the younger a man is when he first has sex, the less chance there is of him using contraception – ever. While about 72% of men who have had sex at least once have tried a modern family planning (FP) method, there is no conclusive data that suggests he will use FP regularly (i.e., with each sexual encounter).
The data from this study concludes that Filipino males may have more power when it comes to determining family size. It is then important to educate them on FP choices so that they can make more informed decisions – especially among the poor, who tend to have more children. The report recommends “intensive reproductive health education that begins from the basic scientific facts about how reproduction is achieved because beliefs in myths are rooted in basic misunderstandings about reproductive health. There is an urgent need for programs that target the poorest, most uneducated men, particularly those who left the public school system in high school.”
Fertility Preferences and Family Planning Use Among Filipino Males 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 study is funded by the Philippine Center for Population and Development (PCPD) through the UPCollege ofMass Communication Foundation, Inc. (UP-CMCFI).
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 www.pcpd.ph
*Methodology: Data used in the analysis are drawn from the 2003 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), a national representative survey of Filipino women 15-49 years old and men 15-54 years old.
A total of 4,615 households were selected for the male subsample which is about a third of the total households sampled for the female sample. Of this number, 91% were successfully interviewed. Out of 4,992 men eligible for individual interviews, 96% were successfully interviewed.
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