Challenges of contraceptive use and pregnancy prevention among women in the U.S. Navy

Ames, G. M.; and Duke, M. R.

Qualitative Health Research, vol. 18, pgs. 244-53 (2008)

In this article we present the results of a study to illuminate the explanatory factors related to unplanned pregnancies in the United States Navy, particularly with regard to female contraceptive training and practices, and occupational culture. The data set consists of 52 semistructured interviews with key informants, sailors, and enlisted personnel who were recruited via a quota sample stratified by gender, occupation, and location. The research team carried out semistructured interviews at seven different naval facilities in the mainland United States, the South Pacific, and Europe. Textual analysis of the interview data revealed four domains pertinent to unplanned pregnancies: (a) ineffective training for women regarding contraceptive options, proper dosing, and potentially negative side effects; (b) discrepancies between contraceptive knowledge and their proper use; (c) different foci of contraceptive training for men (sexually transmitted infection prevention) and women (pregnancy prevention); and (d) cultural norms that equate contraceptive use with promiscuity.