"If I Said No to Sex, It was My Fault": Comparing the Influences of Method Choice on Romantic Relationships




Shannon, Mary Kate

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This study asserts that a woman’s contraceptive method of choice has an impact on the dynamics of her romantic relationship. Research today focuses mostly on the physical side effects of specific birth control methods. However, as this research shows, the psychosocial effects of contraceptive methods—both hormonal and non-hormonal, also need to be considered before a woman selects a method. This research specifically analyzes the influences of Hormonal Birth Control (HBC) as compared to Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) on the dynamics of long-term monogamous relationships. Through qualitative analysis of interviews, themes were collected from each group. Themes of increased communication and unique dynamics of voluntary abstinence was found in the FAM group. The HBC group saw a shift in stress levels and a rise in self- consciousness. Finally, the two groups had contrasting perspectives in the areas of mutual understanding, supportiveness, decision-making and shared responsibilities. These findings demonstrate the weight contraceptive method choice has on the dynamics of a romantic relationship.



women, women's studies, qualitative research, relationships, contraceptives, birth control, fertility awareness, dynamics, method choice, sociology, hormones, Honors College


Shannon, M. K. (2017). "If I said no to sex, it was my fault": Comparing the influences of method choice on romantic relationships (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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