CYWC – San Francisco State University


Research Findings:
Knowledge and Decision-Making Around Contraceptives

In January 2006, the CYWC San Francisco State University student team began compiling a survey to gather data through community-based research of Chinese and Filipina SF State women, which were two large API populations on campus. The students wanted to understand how young Chinese and Filipina women (ages 18-24) make decisions around which types of contraception they use. Specifically, students wanted to examine how culture influences this decision.

Some of the major findings:

  • A staggering 44% of the surveyed API women use withdrawal as a contraceptive method, compared to a national average of 12%. Withdrawal is a method wherein, during sexual intercourse, the male partner “pulls out” before ejaculation. When used as the sole method of contraception, withdrawal is one of the least effective, and does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Mother-daughter communication has a STRONG effect on daughters’ use of withdrawal. Women are LESS LIKELY to use the withdrawal method if they are more comfortable talking to their mothers about sex, have greater maternal approval of their sexual behavior, and learn about types of birth control from their mothers.
  • APIs are underrepresented in enrollment in FamilyPACT, a state program that offers free or low-cost reproductive health services to low-income individuals. Women enrolled in FamilyPACT are three times more likely to use the Pill than women who are not enrolled.

ยป Read the factsheet that summarizes the students’ complete findings.

Activism Project

The students embarked on an on-campus education campaign to raise discussion and awareness of contraceptive methods. Students talked about their findings in classes, teamed up with a Chinatown youth group to make a formal presentation in San Francisco’s Chinatown, spoke at a CYWC funders’ reception at San Francisco’s Embarcadero, and facilitated an on-campus student workshop to offer a safe space for discussion. Recognizing that effective contraception use is directly linked to knowledge and more open communication, CYWC students talked about their findings and led workshop participants in discussions about personal experiences with contraception.

Students also launched a popular t-shirt campaign called “Smart. Beautiful… Maybe It’s Contraception,” which was a play off of several widespread corporate marketing campaigns.