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Godley, Jenny (2001). Kinship Networks and Contraceptive Choice in Nang Rong, Thailand. International Family Planning Perspectives, 27(1), 4-10, 41.


Context: The cultural determinants of contraceptive choice are usually poorly measured, and the mechanisms through which they operate to influence individual behavior are often inadequately understood.
Methods: Data from a 1994 household survey in 51 villages in Nang Rong, a rural district in northeastern Thailand, and a village survey in all villages in the district were used to examine the effects of kinship networks on women's contraceptive choice and the mechanisms through which kinship networks affect contraceptive choice. Multinomial regression analysis was conducted on a sample of 1,563 nonsterilized, nonpregnant women aged 18-35 who had been married 10 years or less, and microsimulations were performed to illustrate the results of varying numbers and types of kinship ties on contraceptive use levels.
Results: Extended kinship ties affect contraceptive choice. The more external kinship ties households have, the more likely women in those households are to use modern forms of temporary contraception. For example, if all households in a village had no kinship ties with other households in the village, 35% of women would use the injectable and 33% no method; in contrast, if all households had five extended kinship ties with other households in the village, 41% of women would use the injectable and 25% no method. Extended kinship ties outside the village also affect contraceptive use: If all households had only two extended kinship ties outside the village, 28% would use the pill, 36% the injectable and 33% no method, whereas if all households had eight such ties, 33% would use the pill, 38% the injectable and 27% no method. Village-level patterns of extended kinship ties also affect contraceptive choice. If all villages were to average just one extended kinship tie outside the village per household, 23% of women would use the pill, 26% the injectable and 43% no method, while if all villages averaged three such ties per household, 31% of women would use the pill, 38% the injectable and just 28% no method.
Conclusions: Kinship ties at both the household and the village level affect contraceptive choice. Policymakers and program planners should be aware of the effects of patterns of migration and subsequent networks of extended kin on the distribution of information about and the acceptance of modern forms of contraception.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Family Planning Perspectives


Godley, Jenny