Jordan has begun to consider a strategy of targeting men for family planning services. However, little is known about Jordanian men's knowledge of and attitudes toward issues related to birthspacing and contraception.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenience sample of men whose wives delivered in three hospitals in Amman in Findings for the overall sample are presented, as are results of chi-square testing to examine differences by men's educational status and income. About two-thirds of respondents knew of male contraceptives, but a similar proportion did not know where to get information about them.
Attitudes toward birthspacing and contraceptive use were more positive among men with at least a secondary education and among those with a higher income than among their less-educated and less well-off counterparts. Culturally sensitive family planning services designed specifically for men in Jordan would increase their involvement in contraceptive use. U ntil recently, Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction about men's family planning knowledge, attitudes and practices were scarce.
Most large-scale family planning surveys—the knowledge, attitudes and practice surveys; the World Fertility Surveys; the Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys; and the first round of the Demographic and Health Surveys DHS 1 —included only women and focused on determinants of their contraceptive use.
The lack of attention to men in surveys probably reflected their limited options for participating in contraceptive use. A woman can, of course, control her fertility without her husband's cooperation; yet when men and women are aware of and responsive to each other's health needs, Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction are more likely to obtain necessary services. Moreover, strengthening communication between partners about reproductive health and involving men in health promotion can lead to better health for the entire family.
A key recommendation of both the International Conference on Population and Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women was that programs encourage husbands and wives to share in responsibilities pertaining to fertility and reproductive health. A first step toward increasing men's participation in reproductive health is to understand their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding a range of issues.
In Jordan, where husbands are the main decision-makers in the family, their attitudes and practices regarding contraception have become a major concern of the National Population Committee JNPCwhich has begun to consider a strategy of targeting men for family planning services. However, research on Jordanian men's involvement in family planning practices is limited.
This article "Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction" data from a survey conducted in Amman on men's views regarding birthspacing and contraceptive use. Jordan lies in the central expanse of the Near East.
It covers an area of approximately 90, square kilometers and shares borders with Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. A predominantly Islamic country, Jordan has been directly affected by most of the political events, as well as economic events, that have reverberated through the region in recent decades.
According to the census, Jordan's population is 4. Four in five households are urban; nearly two-thirds are in the region that includes the capital, Amman. More than four-fifths of adults have had at least a primary education, and about one-third have at least completed secondary school. Additionally, as a result of political and economic events of recent decades, a huge number of migrants and refugees from Palestine and the Arabian Gulf have made their way to Jordan.
This situation underscored the need for a comprehensive
Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction population policy that addresses issues related to population growth, the labor force, the environment and the country's available resources.
Therefore, a national birthspacing program was established inwith the aim of increasing women's awareness of family planning and encouraging the use of modern contraceptives. Nevertheless, the average family size, while declining somewhat, has remained high 6.
Before the birthspacing program was initiated, the main source of information about men's attitudes toward family planning was a brief quantitative survey carried out in to follow up on a Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction of married women.
Furthermore, the findings revealed that the majority of husbands in Jordan held negative attitudes toward contraception and had no desire to regulate their fertility. Intwo years after the birthspacing program was established, the JNPC conducted a qualitative study exploring Jordanian men's and women's attitudes and practices concerning family planning.
Echoing other research findings, many men opposed their wives' use of contraceptives—some because they feared negative health consequences, 11 others because of religious or cultural reasons, 12 but the majority because they believed that women have no right to make reproductive-related decisions on their own. Men aged had higher approval rates than other age-groups.
When asked about the degree to which they concurred with seven attitudinal statements about outcomes of family planning use, men who had ever used a method recorded significantly more positive views than never-users.
The survey results also indicated that communication between partners is significantly associated with contraceptive use; male current users were twice as likely as never-users to Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction discussed contraception with their wives.
Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction article presents descriptive statistics and results of chi-square analyses of data gathered as part of a general male survey conducted to examine men's knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding birthspacing and the use of contraceptives.
Potential respondents had to have at least one other child; every third eligible man was asked to participate. After giving written or, if they preferred, oral informed consent, participants were interviewed by a specially trained male doctor or male nurse. The questionnaire was designed for the study and was tested on a sample of 20 men who were excluded from the final sample in early February The final version consisted of questions covering participants' background characteristics; information about the couple's marriage and fertility; and respondents' views and attitudes toward birthspacing and contraceptive use.
It is important to note that the sample is not representative. Jordan University Hospital is the largest teaching hospital in the country and is a referral center for complicated cases. Al-Basheer is the largest governmental hospital; Royal Medical Services is the second-largest, serving mainly military personnel.
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that these men share many characteristics with the general population of men residing in Amman, particularly those using the same health services. Men's educational level had a significant effect on many of these measures.
The questionnaire included 15 statements that used a "Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction" scale to measure respondents' attitudes toward contraceptive use and other fertility-related issues. It is evident from these responses that men see a number of drawbacks to having large families Table 2.
About one-third of men thought that contraceptive use would decrease their wives' satisfaction with sex, and two-fifths thought it would cause infertility.
Mean scores were calculated for the 15 attitude statements, with higher means indicating higher levels of agreement. Results show that the statement concerning the effect of total number of children on the health care provided to them was associated with the lowest level of agreement, while the statement concerning the effect of frequent deliveries on the mother's health recorded the highest mean Table 3. Results of chi-square testing reveal considerable differences in men's attitudes according to their level of education Table 4.
Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction analyses also showed that annual family income influenced men's attitudes toward birthspacing and contraceptive use Table 5.
Men in the high-income group also were more likely than those in the lower income group to believe that increasing numbers of children in the family have a negative influence on the father's physical and mental health, and on the overall perception of family happiness.
The survey clearly shows that while Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction all of the men in the sample have heard of birthspacing, most cannot correctly define the term; however, education has a significant effect on men's general knowledge about family planning.
These findings are congruent with those from earlier, nationwide surveys. Another important finding is that most men acknowledge the man's responsibility in planning pregnancies; moreover, nearly one-third indicate a willingness to use male contraceptives, and one-half believe that men's contraceptive use would increase if services were designed especially for them.
This suggests that policymakers should undertake initiatives to expand male services and encourage greater use of male contraceptives. Furthermore, educational efforts should be designed to reach men who are not yet receiving family planning services. Given respondents' interest in television as a source of information, special television programs focusing specifically on men should be encouraged. And since men's knowledge about contraception is related to their level of schooling, more structured education about family planning should be directed toward men with the least schooling.
Subsequently, contraceptive education programs that address youth at the school level should be initiated. Other studies, in diverse cultures, have yielded Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction findings about the association between men's level of education and their contraceptive beliefs and practices. Seventy-four percent of respondents that they discuss issues regarding family planning with their wives.
While this finding is similar to results of another Jordanian study, 22 it does not necessarily mean that couples reach a decision together, because men in Jordan as in most Arab countries are seen as the main decision-makers in the family. A multinational study concluded that family members, particularly husbands, play a critical role in women's family planning use and continuation. The effect of religion on issues pertaining to family communication should also not be ignored.
Men, in particular, are interested in religious programs and are concerned about the acceptability of various contraceptive methods within the religious law. The JNPC has undertaken such a program, but its effectiveness has not yet been evaluated. A limitation of this study Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction that men were interviewed on issues related to birthspacing and contraceptives without their wives' being interviewed as well.
Future research should examine attitudes about birthspacing and contraceptives in greater detail, including husbands and wives simultaneously. A further limitation is that, as mentioned earlier, the results are not widely generalizable.
Yet, the main findings from this survey are consistent with results from the national JNPC survey. Drennan M, Reproductive health: Ringheim K, Factors that determine prevalence of use of contraceptive methods for men, Studies in Family Planning,24 2: Jordanian Department of Statistics, Jordanian Department of Statistics,op.
Information, Education and Communication Project, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs,op. Marshal J, Acceptability of fertility regulating methods: Williamson N, How family planning use affects women's lives, Network,18 4: Drennan M,op.
Petro-Nustas W, Wives' view of their husbands' role in family planning: El-Deeb B et al. The Final Report, Amman: Jordanian Population Commission, Jordanian National Population Commission,op.
The research upon which this article is based was funded by the Deanship of Academic Research at the University of Jordan, Amman. Skip to main content. Context Jordan has begun to consider a strategy of targeting men for family planning services. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenience sample of men whose wives delivered in three hospitals in Amman in Conclusions Culturally sensitive family planning services designed specifically for men in Jordan would increase their involvement in contraceptive use.
International Family Planning Perspectives,24 4: Attitudinal Measures The questionnaire included 15 statements that used a Likert scale to measure respondents' attitudes toward contraceptive use and other fertility-related issues. Discussion The survey clearly shows that while virtually all of the men in the sample have heard of birthspacing, most cannot correctly define the term; however, education has a significant effect on men's general knowledge about family planning.
Disclaimer The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Guttmacher Institute. Share Facebook Twitter Email.
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Men should take responsibility for their own reproductive and sexual behaviour and health. Changes in both men's and women's knowledge, attitudes and behaviour are The objective is to Mens attitudes to life events and sexuality and reproduction gender equality in all spheres of life, including Events · Videos · Photo library · Worldwide · Transparency Portal · ICPD. The other one, about the minds of men and women. sensitive to activation by major maturational events, such as sexual debut, parenting.