Men’s Networks and Women’s Contraceptive Use in Northern Ghana

Winfred A. Avogo, Arizona State University
Cornelius Y. Debpuur, Navrongo Health Research Centre

This paper examines men’s informal social interactions on childbearing-related matters and their effects on the contraceptive use of their partners in a rural district of Northern Ghana. The paper uses data from two panel surveys conducted in 1998 and 1999 that allow linking men’s discussion on reproductive and contraceptive matters within their social networks to the contraceptive behavior of their spouses. Logistic regression is employed to predict women’s current use of modern contraception from their husbands’ discussions. The results show men frequently exchange childbearing-related information within their networks and these exchanges have a significant effect on partner’s contraceptive use, regardless of other factors. These findings are situated within the current literature on reproductive and contraceptive changes in sub-Saharan Africa. The policy implications of these findings are also discussed.

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