A gendered study of contraceptive use among students at the University of Natal Pietermaritzburg campus.
Oyedeji, Oluwaseun Adeola.
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This thesis explores issues of contraceptive use among members of both male and female genders. Although research has been conducted on teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexual behaviour, and contraceptive use with particular focus on the female population, a gendered study has yet to be conducted on contraceptive use among young adults, male and female that have just gone beyond their teenage years and are on the verge of entering into adulthood. Hence, this thesis reviews contraceptive use among young adult students (aged 18-25) of both genders using quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews) research methods. This study was based at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. A total of forty students (n=40) were sampled using the convenience sampling method. Twenty of the students were male, while the remaining twenty were female. The thesis adopts a theoretical approach that attempts to conceptualise the influence of patriarchy on contraceptive use among members of the female gender. Also, societal reproductive role fixing is contemplated by examining the ways through which societal construction of male and female roles and stereotypes affect contraceptive use among members of both genders. In this study, it is affirmed that societal attitudes, and misconceptions about contraceptive use play an important role in young adult, male, and female contraceptive use and attitudes towards. Evidence of this, from the survey and interviews conducted in the study, is the high use of the condom, amongst both male and female students compared with other available methods. Among female students, the use of the pill is at twenty-three percent (n=6), use of injectable methods is at thirty-one percent (n=8), while the use of the condom is considerably higher at fortysix percent (n=12). While among male students, the use of the withdrawal method is at nineteen percent (n=4), while condom use is at eighty-one percent (n=17). Both male and female reported that they were satisfied with their choice and use of contraception. The response rate for satisfied female clients was eighty-five percent (n=22), while among male clients, it was seventy-six percent (n=16). The high use of the (male) condom among female students was highly attributed to personal convenience and comfort with condom use as unmarried young women. While with both genders, with the male especially, it was attributed to the function of the condom as a safe sex method, rather than for pregnancy prevention Gender is, and will remain a relevant issue in sexual/reproductive health matters globally. This work represents a contribution to knowledge in this field.
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