Reproductive Goals and Family Planning Attitudes in Pakistan: A Couple-level Analysis

Naushin Mahmood


Based on the responses of 1260 matched couples in the 1990-91
Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, this study examines how
congruent wives’ and husbands’ attitudes towards fertility and family
planning are, and to what extent the similarity or difference in
attitudes affects their reproductive control behaviour. The results show
that about 60 percent of the couples have given similar responses
(agreeing either positively or negatively) to several fertility-related
questions, whereas the remaining 40 percent differ in their attitudes.
Multivariate analyses indicate that a couple’s joint approval of family
planning, husband’s desire for no more children, and spousal discussion
about family planning stand out as the strongest predictors of
contraceptive use. These findings clearly suggest that the role of
couple agreement is important in promoting the use of family planning,
and that men should be made as equal targets of such programmes in

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