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Title: The influence of cultural factors on contraceptive use, fertility attitudes and behaviour in Kenya
Author: Muvandi, Ityai
ISNI:       0000 0001 3437 8149
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2003
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Sociological research on contraceptive and fertility behaviour worldwide has largely focused on demographic and socio-economic factors and only marginally incorporated cultural variables. Given the important role that cultural variables may play in influencing contraceptive and fertility behaviour, most of the models of fertility determination are likely to have been incorrectly specified. This thesis focuses on the systematic study of the role that variables measuring cultural and ethnic origins play in influencing attitudes towards contraception, contraceptive use and fertility as measured by the total number of children desired by currently partnered men in Kenya. Data for this thesis were collected from a probability sample of 2,191 men aged 20-54 years in six Districts, namely, Kajiado, Kakamega, Machalcos, Migori, Nyeri and Mombasa. Both tabular and multivariate logistic regression analysis techniques have been used. This research revealed that cultural and ethnic origins variables (especially ethnicity), age, demographic (child mortality, age at first marriage and number of surviving children) and socioeconomic factors influence inter-spousal communication on family planning related issues and contraceptive use. Attitudes towards contraception emerged as mechanisms through which age and to a lesser extent ethnicity influence contraceptive behaviour. Ethnicity has diverse direct and indirect effects on fertility. It is the most influential variable in the cultural and ethnic origins block and reflects the ways in which people in these groups are socialised into the existing values and belief system. These values and belief system shape attitudes towards contraception. This is evidenced by the fact that the Kikuyu and Kamba whose cultures have been strongly influenced by western ideas especially through education and exposure to media have different positive attitudes towards contraception, are most likely to use contraception and desire small family sizes. On the other hand, the Luo, Maasai and to a lesser extent, the Luhya whose cultural practices have been resilient to change have negative attitudes towards contraception and most likely to be non-users of contraception and desire large family sizes. Thus, the process of cultural socialisation occurs in local communities especially among people from the same ethnic groups, which results in the acquisition of specific normative attitudes and behaviour. Education also has strong linear effects on contraceptive use but its effects on total number of children desired are mediated by contraceptive use, cultural and ethnic origins and socio-economic factors. These findings provide the basis for a model of fertility determination, which is presented in this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology