Sex, Contraception, and Fertility: A Mixed-Methods Investigation in the Philippines

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Principal Investigator: Jessica Gipson

Of the 208 million pregnancies that occur annually throughout the world, 36 percent are unintended and 20 percent are terminated through induced abortion. Fertility preference measurements are critical to understanding individuals’ and couples’ reproductive health needs and to addressing unintended pregnancy and abortion, yet the measurement and predictive validity of fertility preferences remains poor, especially in rapidly-changing settings. This project applies demographic, psychosocial, and ecological theory to the investigation of sex, contraception, and fertility within a dynamic setting, the Philippines. Data from a longitudinal cohort study, the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS) (1983 – 2009), is combined with new quantitative and qualitative data to address three research aims: 1) Analyze existing CLHNS data to identify and select ‘anomalous cases’ for follow-up qualitative interviews, 2) Use findings from Aim 1 and previous quantitative and qualitative analyses to develop and test a new set of fertility intention measurements, and 3) Pilot these newly-designed measures among a sample of young adult couples in Cebu. Findings from this research will delineate ways in which reproductive and public health policies and programs can better address the reproductive needs of populations in developing countries.