Young Adult Men, Pregnancy Ambivalence, and Contraceptive Use in the U.S.

Ronna A. Popkin, Columbia University
Jenny A. Higgins, Columbia University
John Santelli, Columbia University

Pregnancy ambivalence has been shown to strongly influence contraceptive use. However, prior studies have excluded men. We analyzed pregnancy ambivalence and its effect on contraceptive practices among a nationally representative sample of 18-29 year-olds in current sexual relationships (N=335 men, 395 women). A large proportion of respondents (43%) exhibited pregnancy ambivalence, but men (50%) were significantly more likely to do so than women (35%) (p<.01). Strikingly, ambivalence was significantly associated with men’s contraceptive practices but not women’s. Multinomial logistic regression showed that, compared to non-ambivalent men, ambivalent men were 3.14 times as likely to have used no method of birth control vs. condoms in the past month (p<.05), and 2.52 times as likely to have used female controlled methods vs. condoms (p<.05). Findings suggest that, within established relationships, men’s experiences of pregnancy ambivalence may be equally if not more powerful than women’s in influencing contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 2