Purpose: An important, although understudied, area related to contraceptive use is perceptions of contraceptive responsibility. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate these perceptions among female college students.
Methods: Web-based or mailed questionnaires were completed by 326 students from 2006-2007. Logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to model the associations between select demographic and lifestyle characteristics and contraceptive responsibility (shared vs. individual responsibility).
Results: Although 89.1% of women felt that contraceptive responsibility should be shared, only 51.8% indicated that responsibility is actually shared in their relationships. After adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, marital status, and year of study, women using "other" methods of contraception (i.e. withdrawal, rhythm, sterilization, etc.) had 3.25 times the odds of stating that contraceptive responsibility is actually shared as compared to hormonal users (95% CI: 1.20, 8.80).
Conclusions: For college women, there is a disconnect between who they feel should be responsible for contraception and who actually is responsible. Insight into perceptions of contraceptive responsibility in the university setting may help guide health educators and clinicians in designing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection prevention programming.
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