A national survey of men’s vasectomy attitudes, knowledge, and practices
Awarded 2019
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Ashley White, MSPH
University of South Carolina

Despite the method’s effectiveness and safety, vasectomy remains an underutilized contraceptive method in the US. National data has shown there are significant disparities in vasectomy use based on men’s racial/ethnic identity, education, and income, however, questions remain about why these differences exist. Currently, there is limited empirical data on men’s views on vasectomy to help answer those questions. This research entails a national panel survey of men’s vasectomy knowledge, attitudes, and practices within the larger context of their reproductive history and goals. These dynamics are not captured by existing surveys. Using a Qualtrics panel of cisgender, heterosexual men aged 25-64 (n=1,200), this research will provide data to investigate how men perceive vasectomy as a contraceptive method, its relationship to masculinity and other social identities, and possible social stigma attached to the method. Stata will be used to analyze survey data with descriptive statistics, odds ratios, and regression models. Findings will provide greater insight into why disparities in vasectomy use exist as well as opportunities for improved public health outreach activities, contraceptive counseling practices, and policy on vasectomy. While vasectomy is not the right choice for all men, the method’s effectiveness, permanence, and safety make it an attractive option to consider for men (and their female partners) who have reached their desired family size.