Male university students' views, attitudes and behaviors towards family planning and emergency contraception in Turkey

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Abstract

Aim

To determine male university students' views, attitudes and behavior towards family planning and emergency contraception as an important aspect of reproductive health.

Methods

This descriptive study was carried out with 278 men who were chosen using the convenience sampling method at several universities in Istanbul during the spring semester of 2005. Data were obtained through interviews with men by means of a 32 item self-administered questionnaire. Data analyses were made with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

Results

Almost all of the men (96.6%) were single. Students' (n = 200) average age at their first sexual intercourse experience was 17.4 years. Seventy-three percent of the students used a family planning (FP) method in their first sexual experiences (69.5% used a condom). The male condom is the most well known (95.8%) and commonly used (70.1%) FP method. The number of students taking a shared responsibility for FP was 79.4%. One third of the students had negative attitudes towards vasectomy and 1/5 of them were against the use of condoms. The percentage of the students who had heard about emergency contraception (EC) was 14.5%.

Conclusion

Male university students who are sexually active generally do not have enough knowledge about FP and EC. They tend to engage in high-risk behavior. It is imperative that education and counseling in reproductive and sexual health must be offered to all young men. In addition, men's attitudes toward contraceptive methods should be evaluated in other cultures and useful comparisons made with Turkey.

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