Choosing and Using Contraception

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Believe it or not, men and women can and do agree on the subject of contraception: they both think men need to be more involved in choosing and using it. Two-thirds of men and seven in ten women think men need to play more of a role in choosing a method of contraception, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Survey on Men's Role in Preventing Pregnancy. Only 8 percent of men and 4 percent of women say men need to play a smaller role.

Both genders also agree that men need to play a bigger role in making sure contraception is always used. Seventy-two percent of men and 73 percent of women say that men need to play more of a role, while only 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, prefer men playing a lesser role.

Nearly eight in ten survey respondents agree that women have the biggest influence on when a couple decides to have children. Eighty percent of men and 89 percent of women also feel that women feel more responsibility than men for the children they do have.

A surprising number of men claim to be ignorant of contraceptive options. Twenty percent of male survey respondents say they know little or nothing about different types of contraception, and 37 percent claim some knowledge of the options. Only 43 percent of men say they know a lot about contraceptive options available to them.

The Kaiser Family Foundation Survey also asked respondents if they would consider sterilization as permanent birth control. Nearly half of all men and 57 percent of married men say they would consider permanent sterilization. Almost six in ten women and 62 percent of married women would consider sterilization. Many men are also willing to consider hormonal contraceptives if they become available.

For more information on the Kaiser Family Foundation Survey on Men's Role in Preventing Pregnancy, contact the foundation at 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025; telephone (650) 854-9400; fax (650) 854-4800. Publications may be ordered by calling (800) 656-4KFF.

(percent of men willing to consider hormonal contraceptives, if available for men, 1997) Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

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