Understanding the Power of Men's Social Networks
Paul Fleming of the University of Michigan School of Public Health along with Jay Silverman and Holly Shakya at the University of California, San Diego Center for Gender Equity and Health in the U.S. will learn about the social networks of husbands of adolescent girls in Niger, and how these networks influence decisions to use of family planning. The study will be conducted in collaboration with Pathfinder International, building on their Reaching Married Adolescents program. Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world, and men usually control all decisions on use and type of contraception. However, it is unclear how and why they make these decisions, and particularly how other men in their lives influence these decisions. They will conduct in-depth interviews with a group of 20 husbands of adolescent girls in Niger, and characterize the social networks of a further 300 such men. They will also interview key members of these social networks to determine their views on these husbands’ of adolescent girls use of contraception. Together, they hope to identify social barriers and, ultimately, effective models for increasing use of family planning to improve the health of married adolescent girls.