Perceived Fertility Regulation Costs and Contraceptive Use in Nepal

Amie Emens, University of Michigan

In this paper I examine the effects of women’s and their husbands’ perceptions of the costs of contraceptive use on subsequent contraceptive behavior. These perceived costs, here measured by both general attitudes toward the acceptability of contraception and by attitudes toward specific dimensions of multiple contraceptive methods are theorized to influence fertility limiting behavior independent of the actual costs of contraception. This analysis is made possible by unique data from Nepal, which contain measures of both women’s and men’s perceptions of the availability, effectiveness, and side effects of multiple contraceptive methods, and 9 years of prospective, monthly contraceptive use data. I find that husbands’ perceptions of fertility regulation costs have strong consistent effects on method use, independent of their wives perceptions. Further, in this setting, the male contraceptive methods are viewed more positively than female methods by both men and women.

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Presented in Session 138: Abortion as a Recourse for Fertility Control