The influence of social norms on modern contraceptive use and method choice among male and female adolescents and youth in Kenya
- External Impact Paper
- 27 Jan 2020
Lisa Calhoun, University of North Carolina, Union for African Population Studies, African Population Conference, 2019
We analyzed data from the Shujaaz State of the Youth 2018 and 2019 surveys – cross-sectional nationally representative surveys of Kenyan youth aged 15-24 – to understand the extent to which youth perceptions of their friends/peers use of modern contraceptives (a descriptive social norm) influence their own use of contraceptives and their method choice. The results show that males, who perceive modern contraceptive use as a norm among people like them are likely to be current users of condoms themselves. Similarly, girls who perceive use of contraceptive as a norm among their friends/peers are also likely to report using condoms or short acting hormonal methods. This study identifies descriptive norms as a critical factor behind the power of social interactions in influencing behaviors and a strong predictor of behaviors.