Ensuring access to a complete education is a critical component of combating poverty and improving health and social outcomes. Contraception plays an instrumental part in supporting educational outcomes in two key ways: first by allowing couples to plan and space their children effectively and second by allowing young people to protect themselves from an unintended pregnancy.
Evidence indicates that reduced family size correlates with increased educational outcomes. Allowing men to take on additional contraceptive responsibility will increase the number of couples who are able to achieve their desired family planning outcomes, ensuring that they are able to effectively provide for the basic needs of their children, including access to education.
Regarding young people, girls who experience an unintended pregnancy while still in school have a significantly lower likelihood of attending and completing secondary school than girls who do not. Further, lower-level educational attainment as associated with childbearing can “perpetuate a cycle of poverty from one generation to the next”. Similarly, while the data is more sparse, there have been reports of an association between adolescent fathers and high school drop-out rates.
That is why it’s so important to invest in new male contraceptives.
- “The Best Intentions: Unintended Pregnancy and the Well-Being of Children and Families” by Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Unintended Pregnancy; Brown SS, Eisenberg L, editors
- Guttmacher Institute’s “Adding It Up: Costs and Benefits of Meeting the Contraceptive Needs of Adolescents”
- Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s “Contraception Access Increases Women’s Educational Attainment and Earnings”
- “The evidence mounts on the benefits of preventing unintended pregnancy” by Lawrence B. Finer and Adam Sonfield
- Downey, D. B. (1995). When bigger is not better: Family size, parental resources, and children's educational performance. American Sociological Review, 60(5), 746–761. https://doi.org/10.2307/2096320