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‘They think it's all up to the girls’: gender, risk and responsibility for contraception

Brown, Sally


Sally Brown


Much research suggests that attitudes towards responsibility for use of contraception amongst young people are strongly gendered. However, decision making, if ‘decisions’ happen at all, is bound up with notions of hegemonic masculine and feminine roles as well as factors concerning relationship status. Data from two earlier qualitative studies were re-analysed with an emphasis on findings related to gender and responsibility for use of contraception. The first study investigated unintended conceptions amongst 16–20 year-old women. Interviews focused on knowledge and views about contraception,
sex education and sexual health services. The second study involved focus groups with two groups of 14–18 year old men to explore their views on sex education, sexual
health and contraception. Almost all the young women said that young men viewed contraception as ‘not their job’. In contrast, the young men thought that responsibility should be shared. The key issue, however, related to relationship status, with decision making being shared in long-term relationships. There are some gender differences in
accounting for decisions about use of contraception, however the key issue revolves around relationship status.


Brown, S. (2015). ‘They think it's all up to the girls’: gender, risk and responsibility for contraception. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 17(3), 312-325.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 29, 2014
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2014
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Apr 8, 2016
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2016
Print ISSN 1369-1058
Electronic ISSN 1464-5351
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 312-325
Keywords Gender; young people; contraception; responsibility; risk
Public URL
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