Ideational Factors and Modern Contraceptives: Social Network Data From Rural Kenya

Jeffrey Bingenheimer , The George Washington University
Rajiv Rimal, The George Washington University
Erica Sedlander, The George Washington University
Mark Edberg, The George Washington University
Wolfgang Munar, The George Washington University
Peter Gichangi, International Center for Reproductive Health, Kenya
Mary Thiongo, International Centre for Reproductive Health, Kenya
Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University
Alina Lungeanu, Northwestern University

Demographers studying fertility transition have been interested in the role of ideational changes – the spread through social networks of beliefs and attitudes linked to fertility behaviors, including modern contraceptive use. The current study addresses these issues using recently collected social network survey data (n=1975) from two rural communities in Kilifi County, Kenya, selected on the basis of having low and high modern contraceptive prevalence. Enumerators sought to interview every resident aged 15 or older in both communities. The questionnaire included (a) current and intended future use of modern contraception, (b) beliefs and attitudes related to childbearing, sexuality, and modern contraceptive use; and (c) elicitation of participants' social network contacts. Preliminary analyses suggest that the most important ideational factors in this setting may be beliefs and attitudes about the side effects and health consequences of modern contraceptive use, and about modern contraceptive use leading to family conflict.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1