Thai College Students: Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion
thesisposted on 25.10.2015, 00:00 authored by Paveenapat Nithitantiwat
Purpose: Guided by the theory of planned behavior, this study explored Thai male and female college students’ perceptions of unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Design: A cross-sectional, qualitative, descriptive research design was used. Sample: A purposive sample of Thai males and females met the following selection criteria: (1) Thai college students aged 18 to 24 years old and (2) speak Thai. Setting: Data were collected at Ramkhamhaeng University, a public university. This university is in Bangkok and admits both male and female students. Methods: The researcher recruited 16 males and 16 females from Ramkhamhaeng University. Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted to elicit these college students’ perceptions of unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the demographic data and content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Results: The age range of the 32 students was 18 to 24 years (M = 20.91, S.D = 1.63) and 96.9% were Buddhist, the major religion in Thailand. Thai college students believed that unwanted pregnancy was a mistake made by individuals who have unprotected sex, that is did not use condom. Thai college students reported that abortion was immoral, a sin, and murder, consistent with Buddhism. They also reported that abortion in Thailand were illegal. However, they reported that for them having an abortion was contingent on whether they were still in school, whether they were ready to have a baby, and whether the male partner assumed responsibility for the pregnancy. They reported that they would consult their parents or close friend if they needed advice about having a baby and about having an abortion. They believed that condoms and birth control pills are easily accessible and affordable. Conclusion: Given that the vast majority of the participants reported that they were Buddhist and that abortions were illegal, they nevertheless reported that under certain circumstances they would have an abortion. Key influential leaders should create an environment conducive to students developing healthy sexual behaviors that would reduce and/or prevent negative outcomes, such as unwanted pregnancies and abortions.