Traditional Methods Use in the U.S.: The Effect of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Relationship Characteristics

Amanda T. Berger, Child Trends
Jennifer Manlove, Child Trends
Lina Guzman, Child Trends

Despite a program and policy push towards using highly effective hormonal methods of contraception, many couples in the U.S. rely on “traditional methods” of contraception, including natural family planning and withdrawal. This study used nationally representative quantitative data from young adult men and women to identify the importance of knowledge, attitudes, and relationship characteristics in the use of traditional methods. We supplemented these quantitative findings with qualitative data from a sample of racially/ethnically diverse young adult community college students. Results indicate that, for women, knowledge and attitudes regarding contraceptive methods affect whether they ever used in the past or currently use traditional methods. For men, the use of traditional methods is linked primarily to relationship characteristics. Our qualitative data suggest that young adults have considerable concerns about side effects that may affect their choice of methods and that they lack knowledge of traditional methods and, in particular, Natural Family Planning.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 112: Contraceptive Use in the United States