Early fatherhood : a mapping of the evidence base relating to pregnancy prevention and parenting support
Teenage pregnancy prevention programmes targeted at young women have received considerable attention from researchers and programme developers. However, to date, relatively limited information is available on preventing teenage fatherhood or improving outcomes for young fathers. A notable gap is concerned with understanding the forms of sexual health programmes that are most effective from the perspective of young men. We conducted a systematic mapping to identify studies involving young men aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy, improving outcomes for teenage fathers or exploring the perspectives of young men around pregnancy and fatherhood. We searched a wide range of electronic databases from January 1996 to August 2008. Three quantitative and 15 qualitative studies were identified, of which nine were UK based. Key themes related to the inappropriateness of current sexual health promotion to respond to the needs of young men. While young men often possessed very similar ideals to young women, existing programmes were problematic when they negatively stereotyped young men and ineffectively addressed models of masculinity or the difficulties young men may have forming meaningful relationships. Further investigations are required on programme development for young men, particularly on sexual health promotion interventions for 'looked-after' young men and those from unstable childhoods.