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Social Indicators Research. 2015 Jun 13;South Africa has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, emphasising the right to reproductive choice, in keeping with the country’s post-apartheid emphasis on human rights. Access to abortion may also be considered a public health consideration, due to the large number of complications associated with illegal abortions and the associated burden of care. Despite these justifications for a more permissive stance towards abortion, there remain large segments of South African society who are opposed to termination of pregnancy on request. This paper examines the status of reproductive rights in South Africa before looking more closely at public attitudes towards them in the country’s largest city-region. It uses survey data considering attitudes towards abortion as well as the interaction of these attitudes with the variables of race, gender, education level and age using multinomial logistic regression. The results indicate that the largest proportion of respondents oppose abortion absolutely, while a smaller proportion would be open to abortion if the mother’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy was a result of rape. Throughout, the smallest proportion of respondents was of the view that abortion on request is a human right. In terms of predictive value, educational attainment was a stronger predictor than age, race or gender, though there is a distinct lack of consistency in predictive validity of all factors, demonstrating the significant gap between the liberality of laws and the conservatism of public attitudes.
Population Review. 2007; 46(2): p.How does population size affect social life? In accord with Durkheim's classic argument about the shift from the rigid "mechanical" solidarity of small societies to the more differentiated and interdependent "organic" solidarity of large societies, data from 30 nations and 19,568 respondents shows that the citizenry of large societies prefer more inequality in earnings than do citizens of small societies, net of the level of economic development. One reason for this is that citizens of large countries support larger rewards for education and occupational success. In most societies, the actual level of inequality is close to the ideal level, or a little higher. Data are from the World Inequality Study, which pools data from many excellent international survey projects; analysis is by OLS and multi-level regression. (author's)
Population Briefs. 2007 Dec; 13(3):5.In April 2007, Mexico City's legislative assembly voted to liberalize abortion law to permit the interruption of pregnancy in the first trimester. The city is a federal district-similar to Washington, DC-and has a state-like autonomy. The law is in place only in Mexico City; Mexico's states still have restrictive abortion laws. The Council's research and collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations, universities, professional associations, and the Mexican government helped bring about this groundbreaking legislation. "The Population Council's research findings on abortion in Latin America have been used by government officials and women's rights advocacy groups to shape evidence-based policies, including the recent change in abortion law in Mexico City," says Sandra G. Garcia, the Council's director of reproductive health for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, Garcia was honored as a recipient of the Guttmacher Institute's Darroch Award for Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research. She was cited for "research documenting abortion-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Mexico" that "played an important role in the...recent decision to legalize first-trimester abortion." (excerpt)
South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2006; 12(1):16, 18.The past 10 years have seen major advances in health care policy and services that support sexual and reproductive rights in South Africa. Significant milestones include the legalisation of termination of pregnancy (TOP) and the provision of free public sector services for maternal and child health (MCH) and contraception. At the same time the HIV epidemic has expanded rapidly during the last decade, and today an estimated 29% of women of reproductive age (15 - 49 years) in South Africa are HIV-infected. Despite these parallel developments, little attention has been paid to the way in which advances in sexual and reproductive rights in South Africa are extended to HIV-infected individuals. (excerpt)
Comparison of knowledge, attitudes, experience, and opinions between teachers and guardians regarding the emergency contraceptive pill in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Nursing and Health Sciences. 2006 Mar; 8(1):27-35.Teachers and guardians (parents or authorized persons) are expected to collaborate in educating female students about emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) but it is unknown whether they have similar perspectives on ECPs. This study aimed to compare their knowledge, attitudes, experience, and opinions regarding ECPs. Questionnaires were distributed to 720 female teachers and guardians of eight randomly selected high schools and vocational schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There were significantly more teachers who knew about the existence of ECPs than guardians. More guardians reported some accurate information regarding ECPs than did teachers. More teachers than guardians believed that the use of ECPs was not morally wrong. Both teachers and guardians had similar experience with ECP use and similar agreement in teaching female adolescents about ECPs. The teachers and guardians had some different opinions on teaching barriers. It is suggested that both teachers and guardians are suited to teach female adolescents about ECPs, but they need preparation in different aspects. (author's)
Community attitudes towards sexual activity and childbearing by HIV-positive people in South Africa.
AIDS Care. 2006 Oct; 18(7):772-776.While the ability to lead a healthy sexual life and to choose whether and when to have children are well-established features of reproductive health and human rights, issues surrounding sexual activity and childbearing among HIV-infected women and men have received little attention in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a semi-structured, cross-sectional survey at 26 primary health care clinics in South Africa to investigate community attitudes towards sexual activity and reproduction by HIV-infected individuals. Of the 843 women interviewed, slightly less than half (43%, n = 361) thought that people living with HIV/AIDS should remain sexually active if they choose, while 13% (n = 113) said they thought that people living with HIV/AIDS should have children if they wished to do so. In multivariate analysis, negative attitudes towards both sexuality and childbearing were persistently associated with not knowing someone infected with HIV (p = 0.001 and 0.043, respectively). These findings suggest that the sexual and reproductive health rights of HIV-infected women and men may be an important target as part of efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma. Health policies and services are required to reinforce the reproductive rights of HIV-infected individuals in South Africa and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa where HIV is most prevalent. (author's)
Journal of Community Health. 2006 Apr; 31(2):84-93.The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and barriers to use of postpartum care service among rural communities in Uganda. Study was a part of a larger reproductive health evaluation project, and was cross-sectional in nature utilizing qualitative research methods using the narrative inquiry. Two matched rural communities were used in this study; Semuto in Luwero district, and Lwamaggwa in Rakai district. Fifty key informants who were purposefully selected from each study site were interviewed. They included community leaders, political leaders, health care providers, women leaders and community members. One-on-one interviews were conducted with key community informants using an interview guide. The purpose of the interview was explained to each participant, and written informed consent was obtained before the start of the interview. Respondents were allowed to express their views, opinions and observations on several health issues including postpartum health care services. There was a low level of knowledge about postpartum care services among the respondents of the two communities. There was lack of awareness about postpartum care and it's benefits. The main barriers to use of services were; misconceptions regarding the importance of postpartum care, distance to health facilities, poverty, and health system factors notably; poor facilities, lack of essential drugs, and poor attitudes of health workers. In the effort to improve reproductive health care services, there is an urgent need to improve postpartum services, and make them more accessible and user friendly. The training of providers at all levels is essential, in addition to educating families on the importance of postpartum care services. (author's)
Washington, D.C., National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, .  p.There is reason to be concerned about adolescents having sex at an early age. Early sexual activity has been linked to a greater number of sexual partners over time and an increased risk of both teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In addition, the younger a girl is the first time she has sex, the more likely it is that the experience was unwanted. The information in this fact sheet, collected from nationally representative data sets and public opinion surveys, provides some insights into the sexual attitudes and behavior of young adolescents. (excerpt)
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2006 Oct; 32(4):249-252.Both the Delphi method and nominal group technique offer structured, transparent and replicable ways of synthesising individual judgements and have been used extensively for priority setting and guideline development in health-related research including reproductive health. Within evidence-based practice they provide a means of collating expert opinion where little evidence exists. They are distinct from many other methods because they incorporate both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Both methods are inherently flexible; this article also discusses other strengths and weaknesses of these methods. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Putting What Works to Work, 2004 Feb.  p. (Science Says No. 7)Who most influences teens' decisions about sex? Do parents or peers matter more? Should society strongly encourage adolescents to abstain from sexual intercourse? What do adults and teens think about topics such as contraception, virginity, and the influence of the media? Understanding Americans' attitudes about these topics helps point to strategies for addressing teen pregnancy prevention. To that end, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy commissions annual surveys of adults and adolescents seeking answers to these and related questions. This Science Says brief summarizes some of the key findings from the National Campaign's 2003 survey. Data in this brief are drawn from the publication, With One Voice 2003: America's Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy. The surveys were conducted via telephone in August and September 2003 with over 1,000 adults (aged 20 and over) and 1,000 adolescents (aged 12--19). All results are considered nationally representative. See the methodology section below for more information on how these surveys were conducted. (excerpt)
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. 1999 Fall; 8(3):195-198.Two-thirds of the women in the 1998 Canadian Contraception Study are familiar with sterilization as a method of birth control, and they generally think highly of this method. Among women who have been sterilized or whose partners have undergone vasectomy, rates of satisfaction are very high. The rate of sterilization, 23% overall, includes 10% of women who have had the operation, and 14% of their partners. The increasing use of male sterilization is appropriate, given the low morbidity attached to this procedure. This operation should continue to increase in prevalence, as 75% of women who have decided on future sterilization wish their partner to have the operation. (author's)
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 1999 Mar 31; 5(1): p..For many centuries, the kitchen has been regarded as the world of women. However, it has gradually become a world of both men and women. Changes in women's roles in the kitchen reflect the transforming social position of women. Accordingly, change in men and women's performance of housework mirrors a shift in the sexual division of labor. This is accompanied by changed attitudes as well. For example, according to one investigation made by the undergraduates of the university where Ms. Wang works, only 28 percent of the women undergraduates agreed with the proposition: "A woman should try her best to be a good wife and mother, whether or not she is successful in her career." This percentage is much lower than that of women of Ms. Wang's generation. Moreover, Ms. Wang's daughter, [Lian Lian], who is much younger than the undergraduates, not only has a great longing for advanced kitchen facilities in the future, but has her own views about cooking and housework. When asked if in the future, she would like to prepare meals for the whole family as her mother has done, Lian Lian replied definitely: "I would not like to." Lian Lian likes to play with one of the boys in her class, and she once told her mother: "If I get married to him in the future, I will be a very lucky girl, because his father is a chef, and I may not have to cook much then." (author's)
Ithaca, New York, Cornell University, Population and Development Program, 1996.  p. (Population and Development Program Working Paper No. 96.13)Our survey was initiated in 1994 in order to trace change in public opinion as the controversy developed, and to identify some of the determinants of this change. We selected 15 towns in which a majority of the population live within the NYC watershed, and within each town 70 households were selected at random from published telephone listings. In addition, two towns outside the NYC watershed but adjacent to it were used as control areas, since they had similar socio-economic characteristics but relatively little stake in the controversy. This sample of roughly 1000 households constituted a panel, to be interviewed four times between 1994 and 1997. The present report is based on the second of these interviews, conducted by telephone in January, 1995. Because of attrition between the two waves, the sample was reduced to 758 interviews in the watershed and 133 cases in two control communities. Our analysis is pointed toward several general questions: 1. Are upstate watershed residents concerned about environmental general? 2. How informed are they about the NYC watershed controversy, and where do they stand on watershed issues? 3. What are some of the determinants of knowledge and attitude? 4. Is knowledge related to attitude? (excerpt)
Croatian Medical Journal. 1998 Sep; 39(3):256-266.Assessment of the Croatian health care system (under the reform) from the perspective of the users of health care services. We analyzed the consumers' satisfaction with health care system, health care expenses and access, and described the consumers' attitudes toward health reform, examining the differences among sociodemographic groups. The study is based on a data set collected in 1994 through the interviews with randomly selected adults in two major cities of Croatia: Zagreb and Split. A great proportion of respondents were dissatisfied with the current health care services, quality of health care facilities and equipment, and encountered difficulties in access. The elderly, women, and those with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to be dissatisfied and to consider out-of-pocket payments for health services as a problem. A great number of the respondents believed that the reform would either fail or would not achieve significant results. Compared to the younger and higher socio-economic group, the older and lower socioeconomic groups were more likely to evaluate the health care reform negatively. Croatian government decided to rationalize the health care system without taking much account of the impact of health reform on the consumers. Revealed dissatisfaction with the health care services might be linked with the expressed doubts in health care reform and concern that changes could worsen the consumers' position as patients. (author's)
Public opinion regarding oocyte donation in Turkey: first data from a secular population among the Islamic world.
Human Reproduction. 2006; 21(1):318-323.We aimed to reveal the general attitudes of Turkish people toward various aspects of oocyte donation. This descriptive study was carried out in two separate districts of a large Turkish city. Four hundred participants were chosen by cluster sampling methods. The questionnaires were performed by 4th year medical students face to face with the participants. The participants consisted of 232 women (58%) and 168 men (42%); 65% were married, 5% were divorced; 64% had children, 15 (4%) had infertility problems, 263 (66%) were graduates of high school or university; 269 (67%) considered themselves religious. Only less than one-third of the respondents actually knew what oocyte donation meant. Approval of oocyte donation was high in our study sample. Only 61 (15%) respondents showed complete objection to oocyte donation and more men were in favour than women. Less than half of the participants thought that their religion would prevent oocyte donation if they needed it. More than half of the participants would prefer the use of oocyte donation treatment rather than adoption of a child. This is the first report on the attitudes towards oocyte donation from a country having a secular constitution and whose population is mainly Muslim. The most important conclusion to be drawn from the present study is the fact that most of the participants did not have any objection to oocyte donation treatments. (author's)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001. 22 p.Latinos, who now comprise the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States, continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Although they represent approximately 14% of the U.S. population, Latinos accounted for 19% of new AIDS cases reported in 2000. The AIDS case rate (per 100,000) among Latino adults (30.4) was almost four times that for whites (7.9), and AIDS is now the fourth leading cause of death for Latinos between the ages of 25 and 44. The epidemic’s effect on different subgroups of Latinos is also striking. For example, the AIDS case rate among adult Latinas is 13.8 per 100,000, more than six times the rate for white women (2.2). And although Latino youth represent approximately 14% of U.S. teenagers, they accounted for 20% of new AIDS cases reported among those ages 13–19 in 2000. In addition, in a recent study of young men who have sex with men (MSM), HIV prevalence (the proportion of people living with HIV in a population) for young Latinos was 6.9, compared to 3.3 for whites. Finally, there is growing evidence that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is increasingly concentrated in low-income communities in which people of color are often disproportionately represented. Such communities generally are faced with multiple other health and social issues and limited resources with which to respond to the epidemic. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001. 18 p.African Americans have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS since the epidemic’s beginning. In the year 2000, more African Americans were reported with AIDS, and estimated to be living with AIDS, than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. Although African Americans represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they now account for an estimated 54% of new HIV infections and 47% of new AIDS cases. The AIDS case rate (per 100,000) among African Americans is more than eight times the rate among whites and more than twice the rate for Latinos. Moreover, AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African Americans between the ages of 25 and 44. The epidemic has also affected particular subgroups within the African American community. Although African American women represent only 13% of the U.S. female population, they account for almost two-thirds (63%) of AIDS cases reported among women in 2000. African American teens represent 15% of the teen population, yet comprise 64% of new AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year olds in 2000. In addition, in a recent multi-city study of young men who have sex with men (MSM), HIV prevalence (the proportion of people living with HIV in a population) for young African Americans was 14.1%, compared to 3.3% for whites. Finally, there is growing evidence that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is increasingly concentrated in low-income communities in which people of color are often disproportionately represented. Such communities generally are faced with multiple other health and social issues and limited resources with which to respond to the epidemic. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004 Feb. 22 p.While women are the direct users of emergency contraception, men play an important role in reducing unintended pregnancies, making it important to understand their familiarity with and attitudes toward emergency contraception. This survey is one of the first that examines men’s knowledge and attitudes. This survey also provides insight into teenagers’ experiences with emergency contraception, which differ somewhat from those of their adult counterparts. This report has two major sections. Section I presents survey findings on knowledge of and attitudes towards emergency contraception among Californians of reproductive age. Section II discusses the experiences of Californians in obtaining and using emergency contraceptives. The conclusion summarizes the key survey findings and identifies remaining challenges to increasing public awareness of emergency contraceptives in order to reduce unintended pregnancy. (excerpt)
AIDS and Behavior. 2005 Jun; 9(2):135-143.Although there has been progress in AIDS stigma research, there are no multi-item AIDS stigma scales that have been shown reliable and valid in Africa. The current research reports the development of the nine-item AIDS-Related Stigma Scale. Research conducted in five South African communities (N = 2306) found the scale internally consistent, a = 0.75 and time stable over 3 months, r = 0.67. The scale was also reliable in three different languages (English, Xhosa, and Afrikaans). Correlations showed that the AIDS-Related Stigma Scale was moderately inversely correlated with years of education and AIDS knowledge. In addition, individuals who stated that HIV positive persons should conceal their HIV status had higher AIDS-Related Stigma Scale scores. Also supporting the scale’s construct validity, individuals who refused to report whether they had been tested for HIV scored higher on the AIDS-Related Stigma Scale. (author's)
International Social Work. 2003 Apr; 46(2):209-219.Genetics is a relatively new science with a wide range of applications that lead to an even broader range of issues. Since Darwin (1859) proposed his theory of evolution in Origin of the Species, scientists have been trying to locate the biological structures for the transmission of traits from generation to generation. The 20th century yielded considerable fruit in this endeavor. In fact, a complete map for this transmission process is close at hand. On 26 June 2000 Craig Venter, President Bill Clinton and Francis Collins announced the completion of an initial sequencing of the human genome (Hamilton and Regalado, 2001; Collins and McKusick, 2001; Collins, 1999; National Research Council, 2000). Called the Human Genome Project, this has already identified the genes determining Huntington's chorea, polycystic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and various other genetic diseases (Hodgkinson et al., 1990; Varekamp et al., 1990; Wertz et al., 1992). The purpose of the Human Genome Project is to identify, prevent or cure genetic abnormalities. As this research progresses, many preventions and cures for hereditary diseases seem to be within reach, although identification of these diseases is often the only recourse at this time (Hamilton and Noble, 1983; Paul, 1997; Von Wartburg and Liew, 1999). Currently, genetic screening is becoming increasingly available to the public (Fertel and Reiss, 1997; Rauch, 1988; Schroeder, 1991; Young and Robinson, 1984). History suggests that as testing procedures are made available, they are rapidly introduced to the American public. For example, shortly after the test for polio was discovered it was administered to millions of American children. (excerpt)
Family Coordinator. 1970 Apr; 19(2):159-164.Spurned as a subject unfit for even private conversation, let alone the pages of a magazine, in the early twentieth century, birth control is now discussed openly in every kind of communications medium. In the early years of the birth control movement, however, only journals which enjoyed some kind of financial security would dare include such an inflammatory subject. As Americans encountered economic difficulties in the 1930s and adopted a more enlightened view of sexual relations, birth control became an acceptable topic, even to those who opposed the practice. Public acceptance of and interest in the issue has been reflected in periodical coverage of the subject. (author's)
Family Life Coordinator. 1961 Apr; 10(2):27-34.Adult group discussion of early marriage presents certain difficulties to the leader-difficulties which may be shared by the teacher when students as they often do, outwardly reflect parental attitudes. To cope with these difficulties, leaders and teachers must examine rather carefully the psychology of their audiences with respect to this topic and plan strategy accordingly. In other words, leaders and teachers need to have some notion of what is probably going on in the minds of discussants, consciously or unconsciously, and how these mental or emotional processes can be channeled toward worth-while ends. The present essay is an attempt to aid in this task. In the first place, it must be assumed that the response of citizens to the marriage explosion among youngsters who, a generation or so ago, would have been considered children, is highly emotional and largely disapproving. Witness almost any issue of any newspaper or magazine, countless sermons, radio and T-V programs; and PTA sessions throughout the land. This disapproval shows itself in three general ways. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2005 Mar 26; 365:1127-1128.20 million condoms will soon be airlifted into Uganda, after an emergency order issued by the government in early March, with funding from international donors. The new supplies will help to ease a crisis that has gripped the country for more than 5 months, ever since doubts were raised about the quality of “Engabu” brand condoms, which are free and account for 80% of the condoms distributed in Uganda each year. NGOs and donor groups have welcomed the airlift as a long-awaited step towards resolving the country-wide condom shortage. After immediate supplies are restored, however, Ugandan health agencies will face further challenges, including what to do with at least 20 million Engabu condoms that have been quarantined, re-establishing long-term supplies into the country, and how to restore public faith in condoms. The latter task may be complicated by disagreements about various components of the Ugandan prevention policy—”ABC” or abstinence, being faithful, and using condoms—says Ugandan MP Elioda Tumwesige, who chairs the parliamentary committee on HIV/AIDS. “This has come at a time of debate over what we should emphasise more. It could not have come at a worse time for condom promotion.” (excerpt)
International Journal of STD and AIDS. 2004 Jan; 15(1):56-60.One thousand individuals in the age group 18± 69 were selected for a multistage nationwide random sample. Of the interviewees 68.3% were of the opinion that the risk of AIDS, in Portugal, is considerably high and 37.1% stated that they had feared being infected by the HIV; 28.0% established a connection between being afraid and the fact that AIDS is a serious/incurable disease; 31.5% believed that there are risks inherent to the health services; only 7.8% expressed fear of AIDS because of an infected partner. Only 42.6% regarded extra-marital sexual relations as either partially or totally acceptable. Sexual relations between youths were seen as totally acceptable by 11.9% and partially acceptable by 51.1%. Homosexual relations between men were seen as either totally or partially acceptable by 38%. Of the interviewees, 7.8% thought that recent treatments can definitely cure AIDS and 6.5% believed that with recent treatments HIV transmission would no longer be possible. (author's)
Patrifocal concerns in the lives of women in academic science: continuity of tradition and emerging challenges.
Indian Journal of Gender Studies. 2003 May-Aug; 10(2):279-305.This paper examines the social milieu of women academic scientists, parental influence in decision making in regard to the career of their daughters, parents’ expectations, importance of marriage and the criteria involved therein. The support of parents and spouse are vital for the success of women scientists. Nevertheless, the “dual burden” has an impact on professional work, and the consequent redefinition of “success” is clearly a product of patrifocal social structures and ideology. (author's)