LEARNING ABOUT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Lack of knowledge about sex and contraception is pervasive. Over one third of men surveyed did not know of any contraceptive methods, other than condoms. Young men in India and Kenya told us that it largely stems from the absence of formal sex education in schools and parental sex education at home. Limited availability of information and taboos about talking about sex means these young men learned about sex from real-life experiences, friends and older classmates (who were also uninformed), mass media and porn.
Young men typically were most curious about information on how to have sex and porn was often their go-to method to learn this. In Kenya, where men’s knowledge of and use of contraception was highest, young men were worried about the impact of hormonal contraception on their partner’s future fertility and myths abounded on risks of the various methods. Young men in India were most familiar with condoms and female sterilization for family planning. The most important barrier to using condoms was the stigma and shame they experienced in trying to purchase these.
“You inform young men about contraceptives, but they don’t know how to get them.”
– TEACHER, NAIROBI
“Sexual education is very extremist in our country.”
– YOUNG MAN, LUCKNOW