Journal Article

Changing men’s attitudes and behavior: The Zimbabwe male motivation project

A multimedia communication campaign was conducted between 1988 and 1989 to promote family planning among men in Zimbabwe. The campaign consisted of a 52-episode semiweekly radio soap opera, about 60 motivational talks, and two pamphlets about contraceptive methods. Changes over time were measured by comparing a subset of a follow-up survey conducted from October to December 1989 to a baseline survey conducted from April to June 1988. Men exposed to the campaign were also compared to men who were not exposed. The follow-up survey revealed that the campaign reached 52 percent of men aged 18 to 55. Among married Shona-speaking men, use of modern contraceptive methods increased from about 56 percent to 59 percent during the campaign. Condom use increased from about 5 percent to 10 percent. Awareness and current use of modern contraceptives was also higher among men exposed to the campaign, primarily because of their greater awareness of condoms. Men exposed to the campaign were significantly more likely than other men to make the decision to use family planning and to say that both spouses should decide how many children to have.