Contraceptive use by college dating couples: A comparison of men's and women's reports
- Cite this article as:
- Hill, C.T., Peplau, L.A. & Rubin, Z. Popul Environ (1983) 6: 60. doi:10.1007/BF01255865
Most research on contraceptive behavior has focused on individual women rather than on couples. A study of 101 college dating couples examined three issues that have been largely ignored in previous research: the applicability of Lindemann's (1974) stage model of contraceptive use to couples, agreement between partners in reports of contraceptive methods used, and boyfriend's characteristics as correlates of contraceptive use. Stages of contraceptive use were increasingly related to the women's prior sexual experience, and decreasingly related to the man's. Agreement on birth control methods was very high for reports of prescription methods at most recent intercourse, but low for reports of no birth control at first intercourse. Use of prescription methods at most recent intercourse was more strongly related to the women's social characteristics (father's education, religious background) than to the man's. Results suggest that focusing on women as individuals is a useful strategy for research on contraceptive use, at least for unmarried women.