A report in the Autumn 1988 issue of Survey Magazine, now freely accessible in the Archive, revealed the findings from Taylor Nelson’s research on the topic of contraception. This led to a conclusion that during group discussions, and even in individual interviews about sex, men are more likely to exaggerate and over-claim when being interviewed by another man, but will be more honest about their feelings and activities when being interviewed by a woman, especially older.

That is much as one might expect, but a TNS survey around that time among 1061 women in Britain aged 16-44, suggested some men may be surprised — but not many women — that 7 out of 10 women revealed they would not trust a man who said he was taking a contraceptive pill.

So how confident and satisfied did women feel about the various methods of contraception used by them and their partners? 84% of female pill users and 85% of coil users were satisfied, but this dropped to 66% for sheath users, and to 60% for users of rhythm or withdrawal methods.

This study also found that women on the pill tended to be more sexually active: as many as a third of them had made love eleven or more times in the previous four weeks, compared to only 17% for sheath users.

For those investigating patterns of usage and attitude over the years, these findings from the Archive may be compared with a more recent study of contraception issues among women in Europe and the USA which was conducted by IPSOS in 2013. This indicates that attitudes have actually not changed much in the last 25 years. Most widely used are the contraceptive pill and the condom, with 90% regarding the pills as reliable in preventing
pregnancy, and only 70% saying the same about condoms.

The Archive (www.amsr.org.uk) contains a wide range of valuable material that is free to access.