Minnesota Department of Health Fact Sheet Summer 2004
Pregnant Women, Mothers and Infants
Male-Father Involvement in Reproductive Health
Size of the Problem Minnesota Out-of-Wedlock Births,
Over 68,000 births occur annually in Minnesota 1996- 2002
with the same number of birth fathers. In 2002, 28
27.5% of Minnesota births were to unmarried 27.5 27.5
mothers.1, 2 Male reproductive involvement is 27
essential in each of these births. Having a legal 26.5
father identified on the birth certificate is impor-
tant so that the infant/child can get Social Security 25.8
25.7 25.7 25.7
benefits, Veteran’s benefits, tribal registration 25.2
benefits, health care coverage, worker compen- 25 24.9
sation benefits and inheritance rights. Children 24.5
also benefit by knowing both of their parent’s 24
biological, cultural and medical histories. 23.5
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
People affected by male involvement in repro- • Presenting more positive images and models
ductive health and parenting. Responsible sexual for responsible, healthy masculinity.8
behavior is one of the ten leading health indica- • Increasing men’s sensitivity to gender equity
tors for the nation in Healthy People 2010 and and reducing the incidents of violence against
targets the behavior of both men and women.3 women.6
Teenage males face reproductive health decisions • Increasing men’s access to comprehensive
with fewer resources and male-specific health care.9
counseling/clinic services than their female
partners. Men make up only 2% of clients in the National data indicates that early male sexual
federally funded Title X Family Planning experience is associated with other problem
programs. 4 The anticipated growth is expected to behaviors in 15-19 year olds:
reach 300,000 high-school aged males in 2002. • 76% of sexually experienced males reported
Research notes that young men perceive preg- using drugs in the past 12 months;
nancy as a negative event that could prevent • 75% had past criminal involvement;
achievement of their specific life goals.5 • 87% were >2years behind in school.10
Involving young men in family planning and Once an infant is born, a father’s role as parent has
reproductive health has the following benefits. profound impact according to national research.
• Reducing the rate of unintended pregnancy Children in father-present homes:
and HIV.6 • Had higher IQ, verbal and performance scores
• Improving communication between young than children in father-absent homes;
men and women, helping them make more • Were less likely to experience emotional
informed, shared decisions around family disorders and depression; and
planning and reproductive health.7 • Had daughters who delayed sexual activity.11
Maternal and Child Health
85 E. 7th Place, Suite 400
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN, 55164
Male-Father Involvement in Reproductive Health and Parenting– page 2
One indicator of contraceptive use by teenage Minnesota Resources
males is the Minnesota Student Survey. Similar to Public health programs and strategies that promote
national data, the older the teenager, the more male-father involvement in reproductive health
likely he is to have sex.10 and parenting include:
Disparities • The Minnesota Fathers and Families Network
Nationally, African American teen males initiate has been in operation since 2003 and is a
sex earlier than Hispanic or white males. Half of statewide non-profit agency. Visit resources at
black teens report having sex by age 16. 10 www.mnfathers.org
• The Minneapolis Department of Health and
White youth are 2-3 times more likely to live in a Family Support in partnership with Fremont
two-parent family than are African American Community Health Services, Children’s
youth. However, non-resident African American Hospitals and Clinics and Teenage Medical
fathers are nearly 1½ times more likely to visit Services works with adolescent African
their children on a weekly basis than non-resident American males from the North and South
12 side neighborhoods of Minneapolis to increase
STD testing/treatment, increase condom use,
Economic increase knowledge and change social norms
No economic impact data is available related to about sexual activity and teen pregnancies.
male-father involvement in reproductive health. • Dads Make a Difference has two curricula that
are used in over 70 Minnesota schools related
Interventions to the importance of fathers in the lives of
The Urban Institute’s report, Young Men’s Sexual children. www.dadsmakeadifference.org
and Reproductive Health: Toward a National • Three teen clinics in Minnesota have joined
Strategy includes a five-step strategy together to offer resources for males in
13 reproductive health. These clinics include
• Promote sexual health and development. West Suburban Teen Clinic, the Annex Teen
• Promote healthy intimate relationships. Clinic and Teen Age Medical Services.
• Prevent and control the transmission of STIs, www.teenhealth411.org/guys_sex.php
including HIV. • “Options for Young Dads” at Carver-Scott
• Prevent unintended pregnancy. Educational Cooperative serves fathers in the
• Promote responsible fatherhood. two counties with educational and legal
Effectiveness of Interventions • The Duluth-based Dads and Daughters is a
No Minnesota data is available to document the national advocacy group with educational
effectiveness of this intervention. A study was materials and books available.
done on the Wise Guys program in North Carolina www.dadsanddaughters.org
(www.wiseguysnc.org ). Six-months after • Martha Farrell Erickson and William Doherty
program entry, male participants had the following at the University of Minnesota have received
positive outcomes: federal funding to focus on how first time
• Improved knowledge of sexuality and fathers are prepared for parenthood.
consequences of early sexual activity; www.dadsnow.org/studies/hhs-dad2.htm
• Healthier sex role attitudes; and
• Increased communication with parents and
No research has documented community
awareness of male-father involvement in
reproductive health and parenting in Minnesota.
Male-Father Involvement in Reproductive Health and Parenting– page 3
Minnesota Center for Health Statistics. 2003
2000 Census data for Minnesota. 2002
Satcher D. Evolving Health Priorities. Washington DC.
Office of Public Health and Science. 1999.
2002 National Directory- A Resource Guide to Male
Reproductive Health Programs. Chivers-Grant Institute of
Morehouse College. 2002.
Where does reproductive health fit into the lives of
adolescent males? Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive
Health. July/Aug. 2003. www.guttmacher.org
Drennan M. Reproductive health: New perspectives on
men’s participation. Population Reports. 46.1998.
Becker R. Male involvement and adolescent Pregnancy
prevention. Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy
Prevention. Accessed 6-14-04
Wegner MN, Landry E, Wilkinson D, Tzanis J. Men as
partners in reproductive health: From issues to action.
International Family Planning Perspectives. 24(1):38-42.
Ndong I, Becker RM, et al. men’s reproductive
health:defining, designing and delivering services.
International Family Planning Perspectives. 25:S53-S55.
Sonenstein FL, et al. Involving Males in Preventing
Pregnancy: A Guide for Program Planners. Urban Institute.
National Center on Fathers and Families. Father Presence
Mott FL. Sons, daughters and father’s absence:
Differentials in father-leaving probabilities and in-home
environments. Journal of Family Issues. 15:97-128. 1994.
The Urban Institute. Young Men’s Sexual and
Reproductive Health: Toward a National Strategy.