Husband-wife survey responses in Malawi (PDF)
Miller,Kate; Watkins,Susan Cotts; Zulu,Eliya Msiyaphazi
Studies in Family Planning 32(2): 161-174
Publication date: 2001
Previous efforts by demographers to describe and explain spousal differences in reporting about family planning behavior have focused on individual attributes that are assumed to be related to the practice of contraception. This study extends that research by documenting spousal disagreement on a range of issues-household items, livestock, children, and spousal communication about fertility, family planning, and AIDS. Using data from a 1998 study of 585 monogamous couples in rural Malawi, the analysis identifies a systematic gender component to reporting: For many of the survey questions considered, when spouses disagree, husbands are more likely to say "yes" and wives "no." The findings are interpreted in terms of gendered strategies in the interview process.