"If I am ready": Exploring the relationships between masculinities, reproductive life-courses, and pregnancy supportability among men

Joe Strong, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Sexual and reproductive health research and policies most frequently engage with men only in their role as ‘partners’, despite growing evidence that men and their constructions of masculinities dominant SRH norms and environments. Men’s constructions of masculinities and their relationships to reproduction and the conditions under which women and pregnant people navigate their reproductive lifecourses remain under-interrogated. This presentation abductively analyses quantitative survey data (n=297) and qualitative interview data (n=37) to explore and examine the relationship between constructions of masculinities and reproduction among a sample of men aged over 18 in Accra, Ghana, collected between 2020-2021. Men’s constructions of masculinities were embedded in their reproductive lifecourses, from first sex to fatherhood, and was rooted in importance of being ‘ready’. This concept of ‘readiness’ emerged as a determinant of un/acceptable reproductive behaviours and outcomes. Men’s readiness was both individual and relational, with the nature of their relationship with someone else shaping their (non/consensual) supportability of a pregnancy or abortion. Such constructions of dominant masculinities are a critical component of the conditions under which reproductive (in)justice continues, as they shape the context within which reproductive, and specifically abortion-related care, are obtainable.

Keywords: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender, Mixed methods research

See paper.

  Presented in Session 128. Pregnancy Intentions and Life Planning among Women, Men and Adolescents