Marketing the Female Condom to Men as Well as Women May Increase Use
International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Volume 41, Number 3, September 2015
According to “Empowering Women or Pleasing Men? Analyzing Male Views on Female Condom Use in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Cameroon,” a qualitative study by Winny Koster, of the Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development, et al., men in all three countries favored the method over other means of protection for its enhancement of sexual pleasure, as well as its effectiveness and lack of side effects. Generally, men preferred using the female condom with stable rather than casual partners, and for contraception rather than HIV protection. In all three countries, men considered it unacceptable for a woman to initiate female condom use, suggesting that marketing the device as a means of female empowerment may not be productive. The authors note that in Sub-Saharan Africa, where decisions about sex and contraception are considered men’s prerogative, marketing strategies aimed at both men and women may be the best way to increase use.