Male Services in Family Planning
The family planning program authorized under Section 1001 of Title X is required by law to provide family planning services, including information, education, counseling and clinical services to all individuals desiring such services. The number of males receiving services in Title X clinics has historically been low, ranging from approximately 2-5 percent annually. Since approximately 1995, the Office of Family Planning has focused on seeking more effective means for providing family planning information, education, and clinical services targeting males. These efforts have included funding family planning male research projects from the Central Office as well as male reproductive health projects through family planning services grantees in the regions.
OFP is committed to the development and integration of male-focused family planning and reproductive health services into family planning programs. Research shows that young men recognize unintended pregnancy, STDs and HIV/AIDS as serious problems and acknowledge that prevention is a joint responsibility. Until fairly recently, public policies in family planning and reproductive health have focused almost exclusively on females and, prior to 1995, few if any resources targeted males. Experience has shown that drawing males into family planning and reproductive health information and services programs requires approaches that focus on their unique needs. Consequently, even though the Title X legislation does not specify gender, in 2006 approximately 5 percent of clients served in the Title X clinical service delivery system were males.
OFP has funded programs since 1997 to research better ways to reach and serve males. In FY 2003, OFP published a competitive announcement, and funded 15 new Male Research grantees. The purpose of these grants is to refine programmatic approaches and to focus on program effectiveness and efficiency. Grants were awarded for a five year project period, and grantees were required to use a theoretical rationale for their projects that was evidence-based; and, were encouraged to use a logic model-based planning, monitoring and evaluation system. The grantees are currently entering the fifth and final year of the project period. A cross-site evaluation for evaluating the impact of the family planning male reproductive health research grants is also underway. This contract is being carried out by the Urban Institute and seven of the 15 male research grantees are currently participating in the cross-site evaluation in addition to individual project evaluations.