Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Reproductive Goals and Family Planning Attitudes in Pakistan: A Couple-level Analysis

Based on the responses of 1260 matched couples in the 1990-91 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, this study examines how congruent wives’ and husbands’ attitudes towards fertility and family planning are, and to what extent the similarity or difference in attitudes affects their reproductive control behaviour. The results show that about 60 percent of the couples have given similar responses (agreeing either positively or negatively) to several fertility-related questions, whereas the remaining 40 percent differ in their attitudes. Multivariate analyses indicate that a couple’s joint approval of family planning, husband’s desire for no more children, and spousal discussion about family planning stand out as the strongest predictors of contraceptive use. These findings clearly suggest that the role of couple agreement is important in promoting the use of family planning, and that men should be made as equal targets of such programmes in Pakistan.

Naushin Mahmood