Working with Ms. Melonie M. Walcott, doctoral student in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham — as well as UAB faculty Dr. Kui Zhang, associate professor in the department of biostatistics, section on statistical genetics; Dr. Mirjam-Colette Kempf, associate professor in the School of Nursing; and Dr. Ellen Funkhouser, associate professor in the division of preventive medicine, in addition to Dr. John Ehiri, professor in the department of health promotion sciences at the University of Arizona — Dr. Pauline E. Jolly, professor in the department of epidemiology, recently identified associations between gender norms and family planning practices among men in Western Jamaica.
A cross-sectional survey of 549 men ages 19 to 54 years attending or visiting four government-operated hospitals was conducted in 2011. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with taking steps to prevent unwanted pregnancy, intention to have a large family size (three or more children), and fathering children with multiple women. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated from the models. Reduced odds for taking steps to prevent unwanted pregnancy among men with moderate (AOR = 0.5; 95 percent CI = 0.3-0.8) and high (AOR = 0.3; 95 percent CI = 0.1-0.6) support for inequitable gender norms were observed.
Desiring large family size was associated with moderate (AOR = 2.0; 95 percent CI = 1.3-2.5) and high (AOR = 2.6; 95 percent CI = 1.5-4.3) macho scores. For men with two or more children (41 percent), there were increased odds of fathering children with multiple women among those who had moderate (AOR = 2.1; 95 percent CI = 1.0-4.4) and high (AOR = 2.4; 95 percent CI = 1.1-5.6) support for masculinity norms. Support for inequitable gender norms was associated with reduced odds of taking steps to prevent unwanted pregnancy, while support for masculinity norms was associated with desiring a large family size and fathering children with multiple women.
The researchers concluded that these findings highlight the importance of including men and gender norms in family planning programs in Jamaica.
“Gender Norms and Family Planning Practices Among Men in Western Jamaica” was published in July in the American Journal of Men’s Health.