Men and masculinities in qualitative research on vasectomy: perpetuation or progress?

Lucy Nicholas, Christy E. Newman, Jessica R. Botfield, Gareth Terry, Deborah Bateson, Peter Aggleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Although vasectomy is a safe and highly effective method of contraception, uptake is variable globally, with scope for increased engagement in high income nations. Very little qualitative research has been published in recent years to explore men’s perspectives on vasectomy, which represents a key opportunity to better understand and strengthen men’s contribution to reproductive and contraception equality. This paper takes a scoping review approach to identify key findings from the small but important body of qualitative literature. Recent masculinities research argues that, despite some expansion in ways of being masculine, an underpinning ethos of masculinist dominance remains. Extant research on men’s attitudes to vasectomy supports this ambivalent picture, indicating that while there are extending repertoires of masculinity for men to draw on in making sense of vasectomy, many remain underpinned by masculinist narratives. There remains scope for education and health promotion ensuring vasectomy is viewed as a suitable and safe option by more men of reproductive age. Increased uptake of vasectomy may also help shift the longstanding social expectation that women take primary responsibility for contraceptive practices, challenging gender discourses on contraception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Sociology Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • contraception
  • masculinity
  • qualitative research
  • Vasectomy

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