High and low contraceptive use amongst male young offenders: a qualitative interview study

Buston, K. , Parkes, A. and Wight, D. (2014) High and low contraceptive use amongst male young offenders: a qualitative interview study. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 40, pp. 248-253. (doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2013-100696)

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Abstract

<b>Objectives</b> There are high rates of fatherhood and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among young incarcerated men. Here we focus on a sample of men incarcerated in a Scottish Young Offender Institution, analysing their accounts of their contraceptive use. Those who report low or no use of contraception are compared with those who report high use.<p></p> <b>Methods</b> Semi-structured interviews with 40 young male offenders, aged 16–21 years. Participants were purposively sampled using answers from a questionnaire administered to 67 inmates. Data from those men (n=31) reporting either high (n=14) or low/no use (n=17) of contraception are analysed here.<p></p> <b>Results</b> Low users emphasise their desire for pleasure and appear fatalistic about both pregnancy and disease prevention. High users report a strong desire to protect themselves and their ‘manliness’ by using condoms to avoid the risk of STIs and, to a lesser extent, pregnancy. Both sets of men present themselves in a traditionally masculine way, with high users emphasising power, authority and self-control to justify their non-risk-taking contraceptive behaviour.<p></p> <b>Conclusions</b> The masculine narrative regarding self-protection, utilised by the high users, may be an effective method of intervention with potential and actual low users. Conventional masculinity valorises risk-taking but if particular forms of risk avoidance – condom use – can be legitimised as confirming one's masculinity it may be possible to persuade low users to adopt them. The opportunity to work with young men whilst incarcerated should be grasped.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wight, Professor Danny and Parkes, Dr Alison and Buston, Dr Katie
Authors: Buston, K., Parkes, A., and Wight, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:1471-1893
ISSN (Online):2045-2098
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 40:248-253
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656641Children, Young People, Families and Health ProgrammeDaniel WightMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/9IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU