Women's vs. Men's Social Networks and Contraceptive Use Dynamics: Longitudinal Evidence from Ghana

John Casterline, Population Council
Paul Hewett, Population Council
Dominic Agyeman, University of Cape Coast
Peter Aglobitse, University of Cape Coast

This paper examines the effects of social network experience on contraceptive use dynamics in six rural and peri-urban communities in southern Ghana. The principal interest is the relative explanatory strength of women's vs. men's social network experience. Research on social interaction and reproduction in developing countries has largely neglected men's social networks, despite the fact that in most of these societies men have a decisive voice in reproductive decision-making. Panel survey data for roughly 900 women and their male partners covering three years of observation are analyzed. The monthly probability of use of modern contraception is modeled as a function of conventional demographic and socioeconomic variables and separate sets of social network variables specific to the woman and to her male partner. The regression equations include a couple-specific term, treated as random or fixed.

Presented in Session 93: Men's Role in Reproduction in Developing Countries