Gender, Sex, Culture and the Acceptability of the Standard Days Method
Rebecka I. Lundgren, Georgetown University
Although male-female relationships are central to family planning use, programs rarely consider the needs of both men and women. Introducing fertility awareness-based methods necessarily involves addressing couples. Research was conducted by three NGOs in India and El Salvador to test Standard Days Method (SDM) introduction. Data from household surveys and interviews with male and female users provide insight into the interaction between gender, the sexual relationship, culture and family planning. Results show deficits in men’s knowledge, despite efforts to reach them, and gender-biases (particularly among women) related to family planning. Method acceptability is explored from a gender perspective, focusing on the influence of method use on intimate behavior. Most users were satisfied with SDM, men slightly less so than women. Findings suggest that cultural norms related to sexual behavior influence acceptability more than gender differences. Programmatic implications for addressing specific needs of male and female clients will be discussed.