Individual in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 men, ages 21-48, who have fathered at least one unintended pregnancy. The goal of the interviews was to explore the experiences of these men with unintended pregnancy, their communication with partners and others, contraceptive beliefs and practices, their relationships with their partners, and the outcomes and consequences of the unintended pregnancies. This essay describes results derived from their comments regarding their contraceptive practices and the pregnancy-outcome decisions, with thematic analysis used to identify prominent themes from participant comments. Two strong themes, "deference" and "denial," and one lesser theme, "exclusion," emerged from participant responses. Discussion of the role of communication, the power of denial, and opportunities for further involvement of men in decision making relating to unintended pregnancy are presented.

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Copyright © 2005 Men's Studies Press. This article first appeared in International Journal of Men's Health 4:3 (2005), 223-242.