An analysis of the perceptions of African Christian men regarding family planning choices at Paran Pentecostal church in Durban.
Family planning has been a critical issue worldwide and particularly in Africa, especially in recent years. This research study, which is qualitative in nature, was based on the inclusion of men in family planning services. Most approaches to family planning and sexual reproductive health focus on women alone without involving men who are important decision-makers in all family matters. The aim of the study was to analyse the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Pentecostal African men regarding their family planning choices at the Paran Pentecostal Church in Durban. Ten Pentecostal African men were interviewed as research participants in the study with the aim of obtaining individual understanding of family planning, impact on their family planning choices, the contribution of the teachings of the church to their family planning choices. And also to know the role of the partners (women) in family planning choices, strategies they use in addressing their family planning needs and finally to know the challenges they encounter as Christian men in accessing family planning services. The thematic analysis method was used to interpret and analyse the data which was obtained in order to reach to the final conclusions and recommendations of the study. The major themes that emerged from the participants were as follows: (i) Gender relations in family settings, which includes multiple meaning of manhood and men’s understanding of the role of women in the family; (ii) Multiple factors influencing family planning choices which includes knowledge about family planning, Individual strategies in meeting family planning needs, the role of the partners in family planning choices, personal beliefs and preferences on the use of family planning choices, influence of religious and cultural beliefs in family planning; (iii) Challenges encountered by African Christian men in accessing family planning services that include cultural prejudices and stigmatization.
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