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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Heterosexual gender relations and fatherhood : perceptions of new fathers who smoke Kwon, Jae-Young (Jae-Yung)


Despite many health promotion efforts to reduce or stop women’s smoking during pregnancy and postpartum, less attention has focused on fathers’ smoking behaviours. This qualitative study examined interviews conducted with 20 new fathers to describe the connections between gender relations and men’s smoking during their partners’ pregnancy and the postpartum period. In addressing the question of what fathers’ perceive as their partners’ strategies to assist them to reduce or quit smoking, three key themes were identified: Supporting autonomy in men’s smoking cessation, nagging to challenge men’s freedom to smoke, and contempt for men’s continued smoking. In addressing the question of how heterosexual gender relations influence fathers’ masculine ideals in the context of smoking, two themes were identified: Reconciling to maintain a smoke-free home and smoking to mediate relationships. Social constructionist gender frameworks were used to theorize the findings. The results reveal the importance of constructing tobacco reduction and smoking cessation as a fathering responsibility amid trading on masculine ideals by appealing to men’s autonomy, willpower and strength to be smoke-free.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada