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Contraception Is A Woman’s Business, Say Indian Men

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I am going to put this out there. It might shock you, but I am going to say it anyway. Having sex involves two people. Yes,two. Both should consent to it, both should enjoy it, and both should be equally responsible for it. A survey by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted over 2015-16 threw up some very interesting data. And of course, the men completely absolved themselves of any responsibility, and said that they think women have the onus of handling contraception. Because having sex is good, but actually thinking about safety should be only one person’s headache.

Among the different methods of contraception, the pill is the one that most women (85%) were aware of. Awareness about the male condom was slightly lower (79%). Among men, most were aware of the male condom (94%), followed by the pill (81%). Awareness about the female condom was the lowest among both men and women.

A welcome relief was the fact that almost everyone was aware of at least one method of contraception. The numbers are pretty positive. 99% of married women and men aged 15-49 had this information. Also encouraging was the fact that 83% of the women said that deciding on the method of contraception was a joint decision.

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Another conversation that has us feeling upbeat is that at least three fourths of the women interviewed felt that it is right for them to refuse sex with their partners if their partners had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), had cheated on them, or if they were not in the mood. More than 70% of men agreed that it is right for their partners to refuse sex if they had a STD, cheated on them, or if their partners were not in the mood.

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Overall, things are looking up. And we are hoping it gets better with time!

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Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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