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Young men, sexual health and responsibility for contraception: a qualitative pilot study
  1. Sally Brown
  1. Research Fellow, Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University, Stockton on Tees, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sally Brown, Evaluation, Research and Development Unit, Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University, University Boulevard, Stockton on Tees TS17 6BH, UK; s.r.brown{at}


Background and methodology Despite increasing interest over the last decade or more in men's views of sexual health services and use of contraception, most published literature focuses on women. It is important that the views of boys and young men are better understood, particularly with regard to responsibility for use of contraception. This pilot study aimed to gain insights into young men's views of sexual health services and contraception; five non-fathers aged between 14 and 18 years took part in two focus groups. The groups were recorded, transcribed and analysed using the constant comparative method to build up categories of data.

Results Engaging young men in research is very difficult, particularly young men who are not in education or employment. Young fathers proved impossible to recruit. The young men who took part in the study thought responsibility for contraception was shared, although this was partly dependent on relationship status, namely whether sex was with a regular partner or a one-night stand.

Discussion and conclusions These findings are based on a small sample and all participants were in full-time education. It is likely that attitudes may differ from those who are not in education, training or employment. In a future study, it would be important to ensure that young men from different class and educational backgrounds are included in the research, as the tentative conclusions from this pilot study suggest that educational status is a factor in beliefs about responsibility.

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  • Funding The study was funded by Hull City Council Teenage Sexual Health Services.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethical approval The study was given ethical approval by the School of Medicine and Health Research Ethics Committee, Durham University, Durham, UK

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.