some years ago, a comprehensive research was done on the habits and attitudes of pinoys on family planning. both qualitative and quantitative researches were done on a nati0nal basis.
first to be conducted were a series of qualitative research, focus group discussions in metro manila, davao and cebu among several groups of women and men with varying age groups. and marital status. the qualitative research was done to gain possible consumer insights for the development of advertising that will promote family planning use, advocacy work and public relations efforts. equally important, the qualitative researches were conducted to serve as inputs for the design of the quantitative research that was going to be done nationwide.
these charts are only a small portion of the whole research but it is quite telling on where the minds and hearts of pinoys, specially filipina women are in relation to family planning to themselves and their families.
the first part of the FGDs (focus group discussions) was a discussion on values and dreams of the respondents for their families.
an interesting methodology was designed. a drawing of a tree with roots, trunk and leaves were placed on the board. respondents were given post it pads where they were asked to write on them the values they believe in, those that are important for them or their dreams. they were asked to put the post its on the board, place it anywhere inside or outside the tree. once everyone has done this, their answers were processed and discussed with the moderator.
where the respondents placed the post it in relation to the tree had meaning to them. post its placed outside the tree meant whatever was written there was not very important for them. those placed on the leaves were more important and down to the roots. to the respondents, those they placed on the roots were the most important for them.
these were the findings:
first, everyone in the FGDs said their family is the most important to them. that is true even among singles, specially more for those married or with children, across all age groups and in both sexes. in fact most of them even said their family is more important to them than themselves. they are absolutely willing to do anything and everything for their family.
they said that what they are working and living for is to fulfill the dreams of their families as a unit, to secure the future of their children and the family’s well-being. this is not necessarily just about money or wealth, in fact those were hardly mentioned. what was more important to them were the emotional aspect, the joys and happiness that their families felt or aspired for. most of them said it is these priorities that they are presently working for and making such a huge effort for.
after this was discussed extensively, the respondents were then asked – how will you feel when you find out today that you are pregnant? (or for male respondents if their spouses or significant others were pregnant?) the idea was to present to the respondents a simulation of what happens in real life – how an unplanned pregnancy happens to people.
to most of the respondents, pregnancy was something that is planned. for those who were married, they discuss it and plan for it with their spouses. the planning usually is just to agree if they want or do not want to have a child or an additional child at the moment. for single respondents, it is normally not thought of as it was certain they did not want to have children out of marriage.
while they had these in their minds, the respondents know that getting pregnant was always a possibility as most of them were sexually active, even those who were single. they saw sex as part and parcel of having a relationship with the opposite sex.
to the question how will they feel or what is their reaction if they found out they were pregnant now, these were their answers to that question:
the respondents saw unplanned pregnancy essentially as a major disruption, something that will stop or derail the plans that they have been pursuing and currently working on for their families. there is nothing else in their lives that had quite the same impact and effect on their lives than an unplanned pregnancy.
all of them considered being pregnant and having a child as a blessing, even among the singles. but they would rather plan it or get pregnant out of a determined, clear and agreed to goal and at the right timing with their partners. an unplanned pregnancy to them is very unwelcome.
the respondents knew that having a baby at that point in time of their lives mzy not be the best time. they do not take having a baby lightly. they know it is a big responsibility and will involve giving most if not all of their time and effort for the caring of the baby. that would necessarily take time and effort from their work and the duties and responsibilities they were presently fulfilling. most of them said life at its present state was already difficult, having an unplanned pregnancy will make everything more than doubly difficult.
that was the mindset by which advertising and marketing efforts on family planning will be set on in getting the target audience to use it. this and other researches were conducted to get a good picture of the user mindset.
but over and above the advertising and marketing use, this explains very well the challenges faced by family planning advocates.
carlo p arvisu