Ghanaian Male Adolescents’ Knowledge about Female Fertile Period
Male adolescents seem to be excluded from pregnancy prevention programmes although they play a major role in sexual intercourse initiation. Information on the sociodemographic dynamics of male adolescents’ knowledge about the female fertile period is currently virtually non-existent. This paper examines the level of knowledge and the sociodemographic factors that affect knowledge about female fertile period among male adolescents in Ghana. This study is based on secondary data from the 2004 National Survey of Adolescents (NSA) of Ghana, which included 1,137 respondents. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the factors affecting respondents’ knowledge about the female fertile period. The result shows that about 70% of male adolescents reported that they have a knowledge about the fertile period of a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, only 14.2% of them correctly identified the specific fertile period within the female menstrual cycle. Knowledge about the female fertile period was significantly related to the age of respondent (p<0.008), level of education (p<0.002), attendance of sex education classes (p<0.007), and region of residence (p<0.002) of respondents. In a nutshell, the level of accurate knowledge about the female fertile period is quite low among male adolescents in Ghana, and this is affected by some sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents. It is, therefore, essential to develop health and family life education programmes for adolescents, particularly the males, to empower them through knowledge about sexual and reproductive health matters.