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Seattle, Washington, University of Washington, Seattle Population Research Center, 1997 Jun.  p. (Seattle Population Research Center Working Paper No. 97-9)There have been tremendous changes in congressional debate and federal policy focusing on work, family, and gender since the end of World War II. This paper considers how Congress defined and redefined the "problem" of work, family, and gender; the policies it considered; and how policy changed in response to public opinion and the internal logic of the policy process. Congressional action generally moved together with public opinion, as both became more "liberal" and egalitarian over time. But critical aspects of congressional action depended on how Congress happened to view the problem and possible solutions at times when action of some kind seemed relatively urgent. Congressional action stimulated evaluation of current policies and proposals for policy innovation, by women's organizations, intellectuals, federal bureaucrats, and members of Congress, and these evaluations led to calls for further action. Changing views of pregnancy played a key role in moving policy debates from a focus solely on the workplace to a broader focus on how both men and women can balance the competing obligations of work and family. (author's)
[Midwives in the Andean communities: a form of female shamanism?] Hebammenwesen im Andenraum: eine form des weiblichen Schamanismus?
Curare. 1997 Nov; (Spec No):303-312.Acquiring an understanding of Andean midwives and their functions under consideration of their cultural background is seen as a challenge. From the viewpoint of village inhabitants, midwives are regarded as recognized members of the community, and are honored and respected because of their healing function. For this reason they are also of interest to public health institutions, who attempt to integrate them as potential representatives of basic public health care services. However, these efforts have not remained unchallenged, and they present the basis for a cultural conflict, which has contributed to misunderstandings concerning the true dimension of their personality, role and function as a representative element and as a symbol of cultural life in the indigenous Andean community. (author's)
A summary of the findings from national omnibus survey questions about teen pregnancy conducted for the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
Washington, D.C., National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1997 May 2. 13 p.This report summarizes the findings of an omnibus survey of adults aged 18 or older and teenagers aged 12-17 on topics related to teen pregnancy in the US. This nationwide representative survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates on behalf of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The survey aimed to ascertain the public's basic perceptions and attitudes about sexual activity and pregnancy among teenagers by asking four questions. These questions, annotated with results based on total respondents, and the demographic characteristics of each sample are contained in the appendix. In the results, many Americans (62%) stated that teens should not be sexually active, even if they take precautions against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Moreover, a vast majority of the public believed that it is important for society to encourage teenagers to practice abstinence. Even though the majority of adults do not think teenagers should be sexually active, many also said that teens who are engaged in sexual activity should have access to contraception. It was further found out that most Americans have misperceptions about the number of teenage girls in the US who become pregnant before age 20.
[Opinion of the citizens, opinion of the officials (editorial)] Opinion de los ciudadanos, opinion de los fieles.
GIRE. 1997 Sep; (14):1.No government can survive without consulting the opinion of the governed. Even dictators cannot be completely ignorant of the needs and sentiments of the population. This truth applies as well in intimate aspects of life related to conscience and morality. Mexican federal and local legislators lack means of consulting the citizenry. Only a few localities have the type of procedures to determine the will of the electorate used in nations of long democratic tradition. Abortion and other matters of conscience should be subjected to referendum. At present, referenda are impracticable in Mexico. Reflecting the situation in secular society, the Catholic Church hierarchy lacks means of consulting that would at least temper the authoritarian condemnation by the Pope of contraception and birth control and the obsessive opposition to condoms, the best HIV preventive. It is difficult to gauge the true weight of the pope s influence in Mexico, but many lawmakers and authorities consider it definitive. The Church hierarchy neither consults the faithful nor listens to those within the Church who recommend modification of doctrines regarding reproduction. Surveys reveal that Catholic men and women use contraception, and women have obtained abortions without considering themselves outside the religious community. Legislators and officials should know what people really think, and citizens should be provided with information to enable them to form their own opinions.
New York, New York, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Global Interdependence Initiative, 1997. 36 p. (Paper No. 1)This paper is based on an October 7-8, 1996, conference held at the Pocantico Conference Center in the US. The meetings were hosted by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the World Bank. Discussion focused on social stewardship (SS) and the need for cooperation among nations, if interdependent nations are to advance their common interests in economic growth, military security, and the promotion of health, social stability, and human potential SS. This paper is also based on subsequent discussions and other sources. SS is valued for reasons of national security, as a building block of economic growth, and as a reflection of moral values. The US budget does not reflect a meaningful measure of commitment to SS. The US now ranks 4th in the world in bilateral assistance, behind Japan, France, and Germany. Multilateral aid has also declined. The budget declines reflect political and budgetary constraints. Assistance has shifted to disaster relief. Conference participants did not answer whether the decline in assistance meant there were no other alternatives for achieving SS. Chapters in this paper refer to the challenge of global interdependence, the retreat from SS, and building support for SS. Political leadership is key to raising the importance of international issues and SS. A critical mass of Americans could generate the political will. Nongovernmental organizations are key to mobilizing the community in a constituency-building effort. The effort must be directed to women, people of faith, youth, educators, business people, labor union leadership, mass media owners and employees, and foundation staff and trustees. Multilateral and bilateral agencies need to be changed to meet current needs. It is time to recognize that prosperity and security are closely connected to human well-being.
[Women's opinions on abortion legalization in a county in southern Brazil] Opiniao de mulheres sobre a legalizacao do aborto em municipio de porte medio no sul do Brasil.
Revista de Saude Publica / Journal of Public Health. 1997 Dec; 31(6):566-71.A questionnaire-based study was carried out in the city of Rio Grande, Brazil, during January and February 1995, enlisting 1456 women of reproductive age (15-49 years) to obtain information about demographic, socioeconomic, and reproductive variables and seek their opinions about the issue of legalization of abortion. Approximately 15% were adolescents (15-19 years of age), 60% were aged 20-39, and the rest were 40 years old or older. Approximately 20% of them had already undergone at least 1 abortion. 25% of these interventions were done by using misoprostol. 30% of the women were in favor of legalizing abortion in any situation. The main reason cited was the lack of necessary finances to guarantee an acceptable quality of life for the child (53%); 17% agreed that legalization would reduce the incidence of clandestine abortions and consequently maternal morbidity and mortality. Among women who opposed the legalization, 26% said abortion should not be used for contraception; 20% considered it a crime. Only 20% of the low-income family women concurred with the legalization of abortion, whereas 41% of those did whose family income was 6 times the minimum monthly earnings. Only 13% among the illiterate group of women approved legalization versus 50% of the women who had 12 or more years of education (p < 0.001). A multivariate analysis indicated that the opinion in favor of legalization was 2.1 times higher among women aged 45 years or older in comparison to women aged 15-19 years. The odds ratio and relative risk of such opinion among women with 9 or more years of education was approximately 5 times higher than among women without any schooling. The odds ratio of favoring legalization of abortion among women who had deliberately interrupted their pregnancy was 3.3.
POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT. 1997 Nov; 19(2):129-43.This study set out to identify, operationalize and assess the principal components of `nativism' as it shapes immigration restrictionism [in the United States]. Three major attitudinal clusters were defined as constituting nativism: (a) perceptions of immigration as a threat to the culture and prerogatives of the dominant group; (b) negative perceptions of racial minorities, foreign and domestic; and (c) attitudes of alienation and distrust in the population....The clearest message of this study is that people favor immigration reduction because they feel threatened and that much of their sense of threat involves very practical interests of jobs, taxes and security from crime. (EXCERPT)
SOCIETY. 1997 Mar-Apr; 34(3):31-5.The author discusses the undercount problem and considers whether and how the U.S. census can compensate for data shortcomings. Various questions about data collection, data quality, political considerations, and public opinion are considered. (ANNOTATION)
MIGRATION AND REFUGEES: POLITICS AND POLICIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND GERMANY. 1997; 121-52.The paper is divided into four sections. The first describes the major flows of people coming into the United States during the twentieth century, especially since the end of World War II.... The second examines the implications of these flows for the current and future racial/ethnic composition of the U.S. population.... The third assesses the demographic and economic contexts within which these flows have occurred. The fourth argues that a combined view of trends in migration flows, racial/ethnic composition, interracial and interethnic marriage patterns, and economic and labor market outcomes makes it possible to discern not only why recent immigration patterns have come to be negatively perceived but also why they may have come to be seen as violating the prevailing sense of social contract in the United States. (EXCERPT)
Immigration reform and the browning of America: tensions, conflicts and community instability in metropolitan Los Angeles.
INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION REVIEW. 1997 Winter; 31(4):1,055-95.Tensions, conflicts, and community instability associated with heightened immigration--especially of nonwhite immigrant groups--threaten to balkanize America. This article highlights the root causes of the growing opposition to both immigrants and U.S. immigration policy--the nativist backlash, presents a typology of the community-level conflicts that have arisen as a consequence of heightened immigration--legal and illegal--to the United States over the last 30 years, and outlines the conditions under which diversity can be brought to the forefront as one of society's strengths....The 1992 Los Angeles County Social Survey (LACSS)...provides insights into the nature and magnitude of intergroup stereotyping and prejudice in a community in which large numbers of immigrants have settled. (EXCERPT)
The cuckoo's egg: how the U.S. Department of Education is misleading America about immigration's impact on our nation's schools.
POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT. 1997 Nov; 19(2):119-27.The author critically examines U.S. Department of Education data that attempt to account for the country's rising school enrollment. The focus in on the extent to which immigration has contributed to that increase. The author asserts that "the Federal Government is...slipping other people's children into our nests and telling us that we should take responsibility for them. It is gravely harming American children with overcrowded classrooms." (EXCERPT)
PUBLIC OPINION QUARTERLY. 1997 Summer; 61(2):356-83.This report summarizes attitudes and opinions in the United States concerning aspects of immigration based on searches of survey archives and both published and unpublished sources. It includes information on attitudes toward legal and illegal immigrants and toward immigrants from different countries, evaluation of immigrant characteristics, why Americans are reluctant to admit more immigrants, the perceived impact of immigrants on U.S. culture and language, and evaluation of immigration policies. Particular attention is given to attitudes and opinions on immigration in California.
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY. 1997 Jun; 78(2):249-68.The specific purposes of this paper are (1) to develop a portrait of the recent major migration flows to the United States, (2) to assess their implications for the racial/ethnic composition of the U.S. population, and (3) to examine the economic context in which they have occurred. Our general goal is to try to explain not only why recent migration flows have come to be negatively perceived, but also why they appear increasingly to be seen as violating the prevailing sense of social contract in the United States. The authors conclude that "devising immigration policies that are fair as well as sensitive to their environmental, developmental, trade, and foreign-policy implications may prove difficult unless the public sense of economic security increases enough to strengthen what appears to be an increasingly fragile sense of social contract." (EXCERPT)
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH MATTERS. 1997 May; (9):147-8.Adoption of Colombia's 1991 Constitution has sparked debate on issues such as abortion, and the rulings of Constitutional Court judges, while still anti-abortion, have begun to reflect divided opinions about women's reproductive freedom. Abortion remains illegal and, in the past 2 years, the Court has decided two cases in favor of punishing women who had abortions, even in cases of rape. In reaching these conclusions, six of the nine judges argued that the constitution fails to protect reproductive rights, that women's dignity is not compromised by continuing a pregnancy caused by rape, and that the criminalization of abortion does not violate a couple's right to decide the number of their children. The dissenting opinion, however, held that a fetus has no juridical existence and cannot be protected by fundamental rights, that the right of reproductive autonomy is related to Constitutional norms, and that it is unjust to force a woman to continue a pregnancy resulting from rape. The judges holding the minority opinion accused the majority of exhibiting a lack of impartiality by adopting the official Roman Catholic position about abortion. The addition of three high court judges to those who are calling for decriminalization of abortion has stimulated increased objective debate about abortion in Colombia.
Family Planning Perspectives. 1997 Mar-Apr; 29(2):70-5.A 1994-95 survey of men and women aged 18-44 years in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands revealed considerable differences in public knowledge and perceptions about unplanned pregnancy and contraception. The proportion who believe that unplanned pregnancy is a "very big problem" is 60% in the US, 36% in Canada, and 6% in the Netherlands. Americans are more likely than their Canadian or Dutch counterparts to cite societal problems as significant factors in the rate of unplanned pregnancy; higher proportions of Americans also cite the cost of contraceptives (52% vs. 46% of Canadians and 34% of the Dutch) and an inability to obtain methods (66%, 51%, and 33%, respectively). In all three countries, adults are generally well informed about the relative effectiveness of commonly used contraceptives, but Americans are more skeptical about method safety and effectiveness. For example, 17% think the pill is "very safe," compared with 21% of Canadians and 40% of the Dutch; and whereas 64% of Americans consider the pill "very effective," 73% of Canadians and 90% of the Dutch give it this rating. Health care professionals are the most frequently cited source of contraceptive information, but only 51-63% of adults have ever discussed contraception with such a practitioner. (author's)