Variability in the accuracy of young men’s reports of their partner’s hormonal contraceptive use


Karberg, Elizabeth; Manlove, Jennifer; Wildsmith, Elizabeth; & Scott, Mindy E. (2016). Variability in the accuracy of young men's reports of their partner's hormonal contraceptive use. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Teen and unplanned pregnancy prevention efforts have expanded to focus on the role of males in contraceptive decision-making, and several evaluations rely on male reports of contraceptive use as key outcomes of interest. However, it isn’t clear how accurate males are at reporting contraceptive use, particularly their female partners’ use of hormonal and long-acting methods of contraception. Men may erroneously assume their partner is using an oral contraceptive when, in fact, they are not. Alternatively, because condoms are the only method effective in protecting against STIs, it has been speculated that some women may deliberately tell their partners that they are not using hormonal contraception even when they are, in order to encourage their partners to use condoms to reduce STI risk. The Add Health Romantic Pairs sample provides an opportunity to assess the accuracy of male reporting of female contraceptive methods. The proposed paper will examine couple-level reports of contraceptive use, comparing males who accurately report their partner’s method with those who over-report or under-report female method use. We will examine whether accuracy of reporting differs by race/ethnicity, age, relationship status, relationship duration, family structure, education, and measures of relationship intimacy and commitment. All descriptive, cross tabulation, and regression analyses will be conducted separately for couples that are married, cohabiting, and outside of a union. We expect that men who are younger, unmarried (cohabiting or not in a union), have less than some college education, and are in shorter-term and less committed relationships will have less accurate reports of contraceptive use than men who are older, married, have at least some college education, and are in longer-term and more committed relationships. Preliminary analyses suggest that nearly 20% of men inaccurately report their partner’s hormonal or long-acting method use and that relationship status, relationship duration, and presence of children in the household are linked to the accuracy of male reports.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2016 Add Health Users Conference


Karberg, Elizabeth
Manlove, Jennifer
Wildsmith, Elizabeth
Scott, Mindy E.

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID