The Role of Gender-Based Power Relations in Contraceptive Decision-Making for Indian Couples

Carolyn A Hronis, University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

This paper uses data from the Survey of Women and Fertility (SWAF) to examine the effects of gender and power issues within couples on contraceptive decisions in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Because India’s population is the second largest in the world, the nation has been the focus of many family planning initiatives. It is important to understand the impact that family planning is having on the women whose childbearing patterns are being altered. I hypothesize that couples with more egalitarian gender role attitudes will tend to make contraceptive decisions together, and will tend to use reversible contraceptive methods. Couples whose answers to survey questions regarding contraceptive methods differ will tend to share characteristics with couples who have traditional gender role attitudes, indicating that there may be a lack of communication occurring within the couple.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Fertility, Family Planning, Unions, and Sexual Behavior