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Culture, Health and Sexuality. 2007 Jul-Aug; 9(4):403-414.This paper examines teenage pregnancy as a social-historical construction of increasing concern in Brazil. It presents findings from over five years of empirical research alongside an analysis of a sample of newspaper articles representative of the dominant positions in the Brazilian press concerning teenage pregnancy. In contrast to mainstream arguments and to broader moral panic surrounding teenage pregnancy, we argue that contemporary patterns of sexual behaviour among young people in Brazil do not signal growing permissiveness and are not straightforwardly related to poverty, family dysfunction or lack of life projects on the part of young people themselves. On the contrary, early pregnancy and parenthood retain strong continuities with core Brazilian values and norms of sexual culture. (author's)
Policy implications of a national public opinion survey on abortion in Mexico. [México: repercusión en las políticas de una encuesta nacional de opinión pública sobre el aborto]
Reproductive Health Matters. 2004; 12 Suppl 24:65-74.In Mexico, recent political events have drawn increased public attention to the subject of abortion. In 2000, using a national probability sample, we surveyed 3,000 Mexicans aged 15-65 about their knowledge and opinions on abortion. Forty-five per cent knew that abortion was sometimes legal in their state, and 79% felt that abortion should be legal in some circumstances. A majority of participants believed that abortion should be legal when a woman's life is at risk (82%), a woman's health is in danger (76%), pregnancy results from rape (64%) or there is a risk of fetal impairment (53%). Far fewer respondents supported legal abortion when a woman is a minor (21%), for economic reasons (17%), when a woman is single (11%) or because of contraceptive failure (11%). In spite of the influence of the Church, most Mexican Catholics believed the Church and legislators' personal religious beliefs should not factor into abortion legislation, and most supported provision of abortions in public health services in cases when abortion is legal. To improve safe, legal abortion access in Mexico, efforts should focus on increasing public knowledge of legal abortion, decreasing the Church's political influence on abortion legislation, reducing the social stigma associated with sexuality and abortion, and training health care providers to offer safe, legal abortions. (author's)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms International, 1987. x, 140,  p. (Order Number 8801414)The abortion debate in the US has been dominated by 2 forces: anti- abortion groups that advocate severe restrictions on this procedure and pro-abortion organizations that uphold the woman's right to choose. An analysis of data on abortion collected by the National Opinion Research Council for the past 20 years suggests that most Americans place themselves in the middle ground, favoring legal abortion only in certain circumstances. Those with such mixed feelings tend to distinguish between legal and moral issues, supporting the woman's right to personal autonomy yet personally considering the procedure to be the taking of a life. There is far greater willingness to support legal abortion than to agree that abortion is morally acceptable, as evidenced by the fact that 40% of pro-choice supporters have serious moral concerns about the procedure. A cohort analysis of the data set indicated that women interviewed in 1965 were more approving of abortion than later cohorts and have retained their liberal stance. Another finding was that young people of both sexes were more likely than older respondents to cite the ability of a family to love and provide for a child as an important consideration in evaluating the rightness or wrongness of abortion. This pragmatic approach seems to be associated with greater ambivalence on the abortion issue than a straightforward woman's rights stance. On the other hand, the data suggest that anti-abortion forces are least ambivalent on this issue and are more committed to social action than pro-choice forces. To learn more about public ambivalence on the abortion issue, there is a need for survey measures that focus on the conflicting values that underlie beliefs about abortion.
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY. 1986 Mar; 91(5):1,154-69.The author uses 1980 survey data for the United States to test the hypothesis that "community size leads to heterogeneity in values and attitudes that compose the sets of cultural elements of a subculture....An independent size-heterogeneity relationship is found for political and sexual attitudes....It is concluded that community size does increase social heterogeneity, but, consistent with subcultural theory, the relationship is restricted to subcultural elements." (EXCERPT)