Husbands' reproductive health knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in Uttar Pradesh, India

Stud Fam Plann. 1998 Dec;29(4):388-99.


To enhance the reproductive health status of couples in developing countries, the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of both women and men must be investigated, especially where women depend on men for the decision to seek care. This study analyzes data from a survey of 6,727 husbands from five districts in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Data are presented on men's knowledge of women's health and on their own sexual behavior outside the context of marriage, on their perceptions of sexual morbidity and their attempts at treatment for specific conditions, and on their opinions concerning the social role of wives. Findings indicate that men know little about maternal morbidity or sexual morbidity conditions. Few husbands reported that they had had sexual experience outside of marriage and the majority of these few said they had had such a relationship with more than one partner. Of men who said they had had reproductive morbidity symptoms, many said they had not sought treatment. Men's views concerning the role of wives indicate a low level of women's autonomy in this region of India. Results indicate a pressing need for reproductive health education that targets both women and men in Uttar Pradesh.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health
  • Education
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • India
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Rural Population
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Spouses*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Women's Health*
  • Women's Rights