Engaging Young Men in Reproductive Health

In 2015, teen fatherhood occurred at a rate of 10.4 births per 1,000 men in this age group.1  Eighty percent of young men aged 15–19 years report that they would be very upset or a little upset if they were to get a female pregnant.2  When compared with other age groups, young men also are affected disproportionately by sexually transmitted infections (STI).3

Young men have an important role to play in promoting adolescent reproductive health.  Their involvement in contraceptive decision-making has been shown to increase the use of effective methods of pregnancy and STI prevention.4-7

CDC has a long history of addressing male reproductive health, convening its first male reproductive health summit, Advancing Men’s Reproductive Health in the United States pdf icon[PDF – 44 pages], in September 2010.  More recently, CDC has supported several projects that educate and engage young men in reproductive health in innovative ways.

CDC partnered with the Office of Adolescent Health in 2015 to support implementation and evaluation of innovative approaches to educate and engage young men in reproductive health and teen pregnancy prevention efforts. More information about this cooperative agreement can be found on Grants.govexternal icon. CDC also collaborated with JSI-Denver, CAI, and Gaston Health and Human Services in 2013 to implement a pilot project to improve reproductive health services for young men and to increase young men’s use of these services.

1 Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, et al. Births: Final data for 2015. National vital statistics report; vol 66, no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.

2 Martinez G, Copen CE, Abma JC. Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth. Vital Health Stat 23. 2011;10(31):1-35.

3 Workowski KA, Bachmann LH, Chan PA, et al. Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2021;70(4):1-187. Published 2021 Jul 23. doi:10.15585/mmwr.rr7004a1

4 Kerns J, Westhoff C, Morroni C, Murphy PA. Partner influence on early discontinuation of the pill in a predominantly Hispanic population. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2003;35(6):256-260.

5 Kraft JM, Harvey SM, Hatfield-Timajchy K, et al. Pregnancy motivations and contraceptive use: hers, his, or theirs? Women’s Health Issues. 2010;20(4):234-241.

6 Harper C, Callegari L, Raine T, Blum M, Darney P. Adolescent clinic visits for contraception: support from mothers, male partners and friends. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2004;36(1):20-26.

7 Cox S, Posner SF, Sangi-HaghpeykarH. Who’s responsible? Correlates of partner involvement in contraceptive decision making. Women’s Health Issues. 2010;20(4):254-259.