Protection or contraception? Acceptability of condom use within marriage

Julia Cordero, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

The twofold function of condom use –contraception and STD protection- should be taken into account when understanding attitudes towards its use. Emphasis on the interpretation of condom use as a protective practice conflicts with the norms of fidelity and trust that regulate marriage. The alternative interpretation of condom use as a contraceptive method may be less problematic. It is expected that the social consensus on understanding condom use as an HIV-preventive practice does not induce positive attitudes towards this practice within marriage, while social acceptance of modern contraception may help indeed. Data from the Kenya Diffusion and Ideational Change Project are analyzed both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The social support for each function of condom use is measured with the proportion of social network partners that have a positive attitude or behaviour towards them, according to the respondent. The results support the hypothesis.

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Presented in Session 49: Male involvement in contraceptive decision-making