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AIDS ANALYSIS AFRICA. 1996 Jun; 6(3):15.In Uganda, before the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, rape or sexual abuse of children was not considered a serious offense by the public, although the maximum criminal offense for rape was death. Because so many young girls are testing positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and due to the efforts of women's groups, public opinion is changing. According to the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF), girls aged 9-15 years are five times more likely to be infected with HIV than boys of the same age. Adults, who fear their peers may be infected with HIV, turn to children; some AIDS patients believe sleeping with a virgin girl will cure their illness. Uganda is targeting a $15 million project to protect children 5-15 years of age. A study commissioned by the Uganda National Council for Women and Children in 1994 found that in Kabale district 31% of girls and 15% of boys had been abused, many by teachers. In Masaka district, the Council found that 30% of women had been coerced into sex; bosses abuse their maids, and customers abuse alcohol sellers. According to police, rape is the second most common crime in Uganda. Victims are reluctant to come forward to testify; rape victims can be shunned in their communities and may be considered ineligible for marriage. Cases which make it to court rarely get a fair hearing, according to the Council of Women, because the men handling the cases often favor the culprits. FIDA, an association of women lawyers, Action for Development (ACFODE), and the National Association of Women's Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU) are lobbying for tougher laws on rape and closed courts. They are pressuring newspapers to not disclose the names of victims. Although many expect the Ministry of Women to take the lead in this area, it has been unable to do so, because of a lack of funds; it received two-thirds of its budget for 1994-95, an indication, perhaps, of the Ugandan government's intentions. Two figures are shown; one concerns the relation of abuser to child, while the other concerns the action taken on abuse cases.
CLINICS IN OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY. 1986 Mar; 13(1):1-17.Attention is directed to preindustrial and transitional societies to illustrate the great variety of techniques and conditions under which abortion is practiced. The discussion covers changes in abortion status and attitudes through time as well as past and current attitudes in the US. Abortion traditionally has been performed under 2 primary sets of circumstances: the mother (or couple) does not want the pregnancy; or, for a variety of reasons, the pregnancy is deemed unacceptable by the given society, extended family, or a specific family member, usually the husband. Most accounts of abortion deal with its voluntary practice, revealing often the lengths to which women will go to control their fertility in the absence of contraception. Yet, examples exist from both preindustrial and modern societies where the decision to have an abortion is not made by the woman alone but is influenced either wholly or in part by political or cultural factors. Women who want an abortion either have performed the procedures themselves or have sought help from community practitioners, friends, or relative. Abortion techniques are highly varied and include abortifacients, magic, mechanical methods (such as instrumentation, constriction, and insertion of foreign objects into the uterus), heat applied externally, strenuous physical activity, jolts to the body, and starvation. Although abortion is extensively and rather openly practiced in many primitive societies, few groups give it unqualified approval. Cross-culturally, the most prevalent conditions for either approving of or imposing abortion include unmarried status of the mother, adultery, ambiguous paternity, mother's poor health, lactation of the mother, consent of the father, death of the father, rape, incest, and other varieties of illegal union. In Western civilization attitdues vary and have been changing in most cases. As of mid-1982, 10% of the world's population lived in countries where abortion was prohibited under all circumstances and 18% in countries where it was permitted only to save the mother's life. Close to 2/3 of the countries in Latin America, most countries in Africa, most Muslim Countries in Asia, and the 5 European countries of Belgium, Ireland, Malta, Portugal, and Spain belong in these 2 categories. An additional 8% lived in countries that permitted abortion under broad medical grounds. The remaining 64% of the world's population were governed by statutes that either allowed abortion on broad social grounds, such as unmarried status of the mother and financial problems, or permitted it on demand (usually within the 1st trimester). Recent estimates of the number of abortions have ranged up to 55 million, corresponding to an abortion rate of 70/1000 women of reproductive age and to an abortion ratio of 300/1000 known pregnancies. The US liberalized its abortion policy and then subsequently added restrictions at federal, state or local levels. Abortion is 1 of the most divisive issues in the US. Opinions range from disapproval under all circumstances, even to save the mother's life, to approval for any reason, i.e., on demand.
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.