A noted feature of many less developed societies is that marital partnershardly discuss reproductive issues with the result that decisions on theseissues are usually taken by men and their kinsmen. Because of lack ofspousal communication, negotiation for individual reproductive preferenceshas been limited. Thus, the reproductive preferences of men who desirelarger family sizes and oppose contraceptive use have usually been foundto prevail. The need to encourage husband-wife communication aboutreproductive issues cannot be overemphasized. The present study examinesthe level of spousal communication and its impact on contraceptive useamong Yoruba couples in southwest Nigeria. Data for the study are obtainedfrom a survey on the Role of Men in Family Planning conducted in one of thestates inhabited by the Yoruba of Nigeria – Ondo. The sample for this study consists of 381 monogamously married couples. Multivariate analyses were used to determine the impact of background variables on dependent variables. The study shows that fairly high percentages of men and women perceive that decisions on reproductive issues are taken jointly by both partners. The significantly high proportion of women who perceive that they participate in decision making is particularly worth noting and is an indication that women's voices are heard in the study society. Although the impact decreases on controlling for other variables, spousal communication was found to affect contraceptive use: contraceptive is higher among marital partners who discuss and take joint decisions on contraception. The study also reveals that family planning counseling has a significant impact on contraceptive use.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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