The self-reported sexual and parenting behaviors and attitudes of 42 urban males aged 16-22 who had fathered a child were compared with those of 49 demographically similar young men who were not fathers when they sought medical care at a public health center. Use of a questionnaire and structured interviews established that both groups had similar levels of self-esteem and similar ages at first intercourse. Fathers were less likely than the other respondents to feel that parenthood would interfere with their future (71% vs. 92%) or to have a concrete five-year plan (57% vs. 90%). They were more likely to believe that family (62% vs. 37%) and peers (68% vs. 40%) looked favorably upon early parenthood, to have a mother who was a teenage parent (74% vs. 47%) and to state that they lacked an adequate father figure while growing up (50% vs. 18%). Fathers also reported more frequent sexual activity and less consistent contraceptive use than did the others.
(Family Planning Perspectives, 29:280-283, 1997)