Male adolescents’ role in pregnancy prevention and unintended pregnancy in rural Victoria: health care Professional’s and educators’ perspectives Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND:While there has been a steady decline in adolescent pregnancies worldwide and in Australia over the last three decades, Australian rates still rank third highest among developed countries. Adolescent pregnancies are defined as those that occur to girls between the ages of 15 and 19. The current pregnancy rate of 15 to 19 year old females rural Victoria is 21.19%, this is more than double the Victorian state rate of 8.2% and almost double the national Australian rate at 13.1% The aim of this study was to explore Health Care Professionals and Educator perspectives on these high adolescent pregnancy rates, with particular focus on the role of adolescent males, in a rural region in Victoria, Australia. METHODS:A qualitative descriptive study using focus group discussion was undertaken with Health Care Providers and Educators (N = 8) in 2016. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS:Four themes emerged from analysis. The first, 'Gender Stereotyping' focused on the acceptance of traditional masculinities; the second 'Adolescent males as health consumers' was based on the consensus that adolescent males are poor consumers of health and 'invisible'; the third 'Complexity of Issues' identified that, particularly in a rural region, contributing issues are varied and complex; and the fourth 'Focus on Fatherhood', saw the participants diverge from the discussion about pregnancy prevention and the adolescent males' role in unintended pregnancy, and focus on the role adolescent males may have as unintended fathers. CONCLUSIONS:Participants did not consider young males to be of importance in the prevention of adolescent pregnancy. There is a need to further explore the role of young males in pregnancy prevention, including what role traditional gender stereotyping, from health professionals' and young males' perspectives, plays in provision of adolescent sexual health services.

publication date

  • 2018