Journal of Biosocial Science

Research Article

Mass media messages and reproductive behaviour in Nigeria

A. Bankolea1, G. Rodrígueza1 and C. F. Westoffa1

a1 Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA


This paper examines the effects of exposure to mass media messages promoting family planning on the reproductive behaviour of married women in Nigeria using cross-sectional data. Longitudinal data are also used to ensure that exposure to media messages pre-dates the indicators of reproductive behaviour. Cross-sectional analysis suggests that: (1) contraceptive use and intention are positively associated with exposure to mass media messages, and (2) women who are exposed to media messages are more likely to desire fewer children than those who are not exposed to such messages. Similarly, analysis of the longitudinal data shows that exposure to mass media messages is a significant predictor of contraceptive use. Thus, exposure to mass media messages about family planning may be a powerful tool for influencing reproductive behaviour in Nigeria.