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Men’s response to Unintended Pregnancy

Qualitative research has examined some of men’s responses to unintended pregnancy[1].  Several themes have emerged.


Positive themes:

  • Excitement about parenting: “I’m going to be a dad!”

  • Reinforcement of masculinity: “Look how easily I can make a baby”



  • Deference: "It’s a woman’s choice, so I’ll support whatever she wants”


Negative themes:


  • Feeling left out of decision-making: “I can’t tell her how I feel about this”

  • Not being told until after the termination: “I would have done things differently”


  •  Of paternity: “That’s not my baby!”

  • Of procreative responsibility: “It wasn’t my responsibility to use condoms, she told me she was being careful”

  • Of procreative consciousness: “I figured since she wasn’t pregnant after a year that we just couldn’t have kids together”

  • Of implications of unintended pregnancy: “This doesn’t change anything”


  • Paternity Fraud

  • Entrapment into relationship


1. Johnson, SD. Williams, LB. Deference, denial, and exclusion: Men talk about contraception and unintended pregnancy. International journal of men’s health 4(3) 2005. 223-242.

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