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Women and children
P84 Where do babies come from? A man's understanding of women's health
  1. M F Appleby,
  2. F Allen,
  3. B Dowsing,
  4. H Rich,
  5. P Douglass
  1. UCL Medical School, London, UK


Background As part of a student selected study component, five male fourth year medical students sought to examine young men's knowledge of women's reproductive health. The importance of raising awareness of women's health must not be underestimated. Education of men in basic women's health could result in a significant reduction in unwanted pregnancy, misuse of contraception and domestic violence.

Aim(s)/Objective(s) The research question was simple—was our ignorance representative of our peers, and specifically, in which areas was knowledge most lacking?

Methods 24 questions were chosen for simplicity, guided by the developers' own lack of knowledge. Respondents were male pre-clinical medical students (n=41) aged 18–21, with a smaller but representative female cohort (n=12) to be used for comparison.

Results and Discussion Male respondents' overall mean grade 48.3 % (SD 16.9%) compared poorly to the female respondents' 70.8% (SD 10.9%), significant on between samples t-test (p<0.01). Results for each category are represented in abstract P84 table 1. Male respondents scored poorly on contraceptive awareness. The majority believed A&E to be an appropriate place to access emergency contraception. Not one male was able to name a serious side effect of the COCP. Only 7% of respondents knew the age women should receive their first cervical smear, and less than half knew its purpose. The project was limited by the opportunity sample used - medical students are well educated but unworldly in many other ways and not representative of other men their age. However, this study outlined the key areas where male education needs to be improved in an effort to involve men in women's health and combat inequalities.

Abstract P84 Table 1

Correct male responses regarding female sexual health

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