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MEDICINE AND LAW. 1989 Jan; 7(5):483-503.South African law, as many other law systems do, has exercised a strong measure of control over the fertility of its citizens via the sanction of illegitimacy and the prohibition of marriage (and thus legitimate children) between certain individuals (those who are among the prohibited). Until last year, when the Mixed Marriages Act was abolished, marriage across the color line was prohibited in South Africa. The requirement of a valid consent by both prospective spouses in order to enter into the marriage further excludes certain categories of people from procreating legitimate children (the insane, the mentally feeble), while the requirement of consummation will exclude certain categories of paraplegics from solemnizing a valid marriage. Age restrictions on marriages and the requirements of parental consent for minors are further factors limiting the individual's freedom to procreate. These restrictions have a well-established historical basis extending over a long period of time. They can be categorized as attempting to preserve the family unit. The above provisions were formulated at a time when the law never contemplated the amazing advances in human biology which have produced conception artificially; e.g., AID, IVF, and surrogacy. The legislature, both in South Africa and elsewhere, adopted a neutral approach to this fertility revolution at first and watched the legal system struggle to adapt outmoded principles to the new technology. Legislation relating to AID and IVF eventually appeared in many jurisdictions and as a result of its delayed introduction, public opinion has now been educated to accept these new techniques and the legislation looks favorably on these new techniques. This is not the case insofar as surrogacy is concerned. South Africa, England, and Australia have produced essentially negative legislation. Certain American states, however, have adopted progressive legislation which acknowledges and accepts surrogacy. The merits of this are discussed and it is felt that it should be condoned by the South African legislature under certain conditions, as it can now be considered as furthering the interests of the family unit. (author's modified)
The cultural meaning of AIDS and condoms for stable heterosexual relations in Africa: recent evidence from the local print media.
[Unpublished] 1989 Mar. Paper presented at the Seminar on Population Policy in Subsaharan Africa: Drawing on International Experience, sponsored by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), Committee on Population and Policy, with the collaboration of Departement de Demographie de l'Universite de Kinshasa, Commission Nationale de la Population du Zaire (CONAPO), Secretariat au Plan du Zaire, held at the Hotel Okapi, Kinshasa, Zaire, 27 February to 2 March 1989. 27 p.This paper draws on the authors previous research experience in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and articles in local newspapers and journals from Central, Eastern and Western Africa. To research the AIDS epidemic in terms of: 1) problems for fertility that condoms pose 2) the association of condoms with promiscuity 3) economic pressures that induce women to contract lovers and men to enter polygamous relationships 4) the importance of fertility and 5) the association of AIDS with promiscuity. There is great concern for the uninfected children of parents who die of AIDS. Women are generally being blamed for spreading the HIV virus to their partners and being promiscuous making all her children suspicious as products of illicit unions. The father and his kin often repudiate these offspring. Questions are raised as to where these children will go and, what is the economic and social effect of their geographical mobility? Young women, school girls in particular, now comprise one of the groups at high risk for contracting the HIV virus because private schools expose girls to older, wealthier, married men. Parents may begin growing reluctant to send their daughters to school to avoid the AIDS virus, while encouraging them to marry early, leading to higher fertility rates and low interest in contraception. Yet secondary schools are the best arenas to introduce condoms and AIDS education because the girls are highly motivated. The use of condoms in Africa is controversial because they prevent fertility and suggest promiscuity. 2 major philosophies are common among health manpower: 1) minimizing the demographic impact of AIDS in light of continued high fertility rates, or 2) emphasizing the crisis brought on by death and destruction. Government efforts to publicize the AIDS epidemic and the utility of condoms as a prophylactic are doing the greatest service to women and society by providing them with credible elements of ambiguity and deniability.
Beverly Hills, California, Sage Publications, 1980. 246 p. (Sage Library of Social Research Vol. 100)This book's objective is to describe the circumstances surrounding adolescent pregnancy, demonstrate the need for social support, and describe how these supports might be offered. It contains 2 basic thrusts. The early chapters describe the adolescent pregnancy problem and the parallels between the development of the adolescent pregnancy and the potential child maltreater. What follows from this description is the author's sense of methods which will help to reduce the risks generated by participation in either, or both, of these environments. The information presented in this volume suggests that the time for joint study of child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy has arrived. The demand for correlational study of these 2 social situations is viable for 4 interrelated reasons: both child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy are social phenomena which demonstrate a dramatic increase in reported incidence in the past 25 years; both child maltreaters and adolescents who have experienced pregnancy appear to share multiple demographic or situational variables, i.e., minority overrepresentation, low income, low education, and high unemployment; the development of the maltreating event and the adolescent pregnancy reveal an unusual similarity, and the intergenerational aspects of both problems could well be strongly related to the snowball effect that these problems have on each other; and if the problems of child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy are found to be symbiotic in their support of each other, rather than independent responses to a uniform social context, the direction of prevention efforts in these 2 areas could produce beneficial reductions in the rates of both problems. The best hope for the provision of prevention services in adolescent pregnancy rests within an alteration in public fears and misconceptions related to welfare dependency, contraceptive use, sexual education and information, and possibly even a general view of the adolescent in society. There is no question that contraceptive programming for the adolescent can serve as a vital preventive measure. The cornerstone of this service returns the perspective to education. Preventive services must include education for contraception, education for appropriate decision making, and education for survival of a parent and child. The community-based multidisciplinary system for the adolescent pregnancy or parent has been demonstrated to be the most effective model for programming today. It is also the most difficult program to find or or develop. Services to adolescents must begin as soon as community standards will permit them to be initiated to prevent the occurrence of the problem. Only when a collage of services in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation realms is available for the individual adolescent can it be said that a meaningful program exists.