What is it about?

This study explores how gendered social norms around modern contraception can be in rural Kenya. The influence of important others on using modern contraception appears more important for young girls than young boys. This makes sense since young girls especially face a lot of stigma in using modern contraception.

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Why is it important?

We know that social norms around family planning are important for influencing adolescents. What is often missed is the gendered dimension, which means that interventions to improve modern contraception that leverage social norms change should target young girls, and their same-sex referents (important others) such as aunts, sisters, and female friends.


I think this study adds to the literature on gendered social norms around family planning, but also makes an important methodological and theoretical contribution to the norms literature by expanding on the notion of "collective norms", operationalized as behavioral prevalence within a social network.

Shaon Lahiri
University of Pennsylvania

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The role of social norms on adolescent family planning in rural Kilifi county, Kenya, PLoS ONE, February 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275824.
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