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A study of vasectomised men and their wives

Leavesley, James Harrison (1978) A study of vasectomised men and their wives. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Studies on vasectomy have seldom included the attitude of wives, and even more rarely involved the use of controls. Further, it has been a clinical impression gained by the author that men undertaking vasectomy as a method of birth control are freer thinkers, less confined or conforming in their general attitudes to life. To correlate all these factors, fifty couples where the husband had been vasectomised by the author, together with a control of fifty couples who were using other methods of contraception as prescribed by the author in his suburban general practice, were circularised two questionnaires. One questionnaire attempted to appraise their self concept, and the second elicited attitudes towards, and satisfaction with, their chosen method of birth control, together with background social and demographic information. There was an 83% response.

This thesis sets out the result of these two questionnaires, and attempts to correlate the self concept with attitude, satisfaction and social background.

Although the number of respondents were small, the results show that vasectomised men are, in fact, less socially anchored and conforming than men who choose other contraceptive methods.

From the second questionnaire a number of conclusions were drawn. The most striking was that the general health of almost half the wives improved after their husband’s vasectomy, whereas the health of the husband largely remained unaltered. A second clear result was that the wives of vasectomised men would, without exception, agree again to their husband being sterilised and would recommend it to others. Two further conclusions of interest were that, firstly, a significant number of those electing vasectomy as a method of birth control used condoms rather than other contraceptives prior to the operation. Secondly, the majority of respondents heard of the operation through newspapers or magazines.

Overall there was a high degree of stated satisfaction with the operation, in agreement with other studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Inquiry
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Newman, Peter, Wales, Ray and Hartley, E.
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