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Women's preferences for vaginal antimicrobial contraceptives II. Preferred characteristics according to women's age and socioeconomic status.
CONTRACEPTION. 1998 Oct; 58(4):239-44.Efforts to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have focused on woman-controlled vaginal methods. To identify the characteristics women prefer in a new vaginal contraceptive method and thereby guide product development, a descriptive study of 635 women from Campinas, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, was conducted in 1996-97. A total of 310 women were 15-19 years of age and 325 were 20-45 years old. The two age groups were further divided so that half the women were of low socioeconomic status and half were of middle or high status. Most women in the 4 subgroups (73.5-82.8%) selected the vaginal cream over a suppository for the preferred form of an ideal vaginal formulation. A clear or white-colored product with no taste or odor was preferred. Almost all women wanted the method to protect against STDs as well as pregnancy. More than 80% of women in all 4 subgroups preferred to use an applicator to insert the formulation before coitus. More than half the women wanted a method with a duration of effectiveness of 8 hours to eliminate the need for reapplication. Preferences did not differ significantly according to the respondent's age or socioeconomic status.
[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.
PUBLIUS: THE JOURNAL OF FEDERALISM. 1995 Fall; 25(4):91-105.Ample evidence exists to link public opinion and public policy in regard to health issues and abortion in the US. In order to determine the impact of policies (which reflect public preferences) on citizen behavior, research was undertaken to test the following hypotheses: 1) in the presence of public support for abortion, policy-makers will impose fewer restrictions; 2) in the presence of public support for abortion and fewer restrictions, access will be greater; 3) in the presence of public support, fewer restrictions, and improved access, more abortions will occur; and 4) the impact of public preferences on policies will retain its significance when controls are applied to socioeconomic (and metropolitan) and religious variables. Data were analyzed from a 1993 abortion survey, with the ratio of abortions/1000 live births in each state in 1992 serving as the dependent variable. State policies were ranked on a nine-point scale of restrictiveness. Public opinion was measured using 1988 and 1990 responses to National Election Series Senate Panel Studies. Access was measured according to the percentage of counties in a state with abortion providers in 1992. Regression analysis of the data resulted in qualified support of all four of the hypotheses. It was found that religious fundamentalism influences abortion attitudes whereas states with large Catholic populations show an influence of the church on public policy. Further research is warranted into the relationship which exists among public preferences, public policy, and corresponding public behavior.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms International, 1993. , 228 p. (Order No. 9400674)Verification of the significant impact of public support for abortion on both abortion access and abortion rates was provided through the application of interrupted time series design, multiple regression analysis, and causal modelling techniques to survey data from the US states. National statistics fail to demonstrate a statistically significant impact on US abortion rates of 3 major policy changes: the Roe vs Wade decision, the prohibition of Medicaid funding for abortion, and the anti-abortionist Reagan-Bush presidency. On the other hand, and consistent with the trend toward state control over abortion policy, disaggregation revealed substantial policy-abortion rate correlations in most states. Attitudes toward abortion, which remain remarkably constant over time, are largely dependent (70% of variance explained) by 5 factors: percent Christian, percent Catholic, percent Mormon, percent urban, and socioeconomic status. In states where public opinion on abortion is predominantly liberal, there tend to be fewer restrictions on abortion and a greater likelihood that the state will provide Medicaid funds. In the bivariate analysis, state scores on abortion opinion accounted for 18% of the variance in the policy index. For every 1 point drop in support for abortion, there is an increase of 1 in the number of restrictions on the procedure. Higher socioeconomic status, greater metropolitan populations, and larger Catholic populations tend to produce stronger public support for abortion, while states with large Christian or Mormon populations have more conservative opinion poll findings. While Catholicism is associated with support for abortion and a larger number of abortion facilities, it is also linked to more abortion policy restrictions--a contradiction that may reflect divisions between the Church leadership and membership. There is a need for additional research on aggregate public opinion variables and their relationship with abortion policy and abortion rates, especially at the state level.
[Attitudes toward the environment: a North / South analysis] Attitudes face a l'environnement: une analyse Nord / Sud.
REVUE TIERS MONDE. 1992 Apr-Jun; 33(130):355-72.The results of public opinion surveys were used to assess the variation in views and attitudes toward the environment among different social strata in several countries. The developed countries have recently become concerned about the disappearance of the rain forests, but mere survival is more of a preoccupation for the majority of Brazilians than damage tot he rain forest. A survey of a representative national sample during the 1989 presidential election indicated that fewer than 10% of Brazilians considered ecological problems among the 3 major national problems. But in a survey to determine which environmental problems in Brazil were considered most serious, burning of the tropical forest was identified by the greatest proportion of respondents, 19%, followed by industrial pollution of rivers and cities, 17%. Surveys in 1990-91 in Great Britain indicated in contrast that some 92% of respondents were in favor of 1 or more measures to limit deterioration of the tropical forest, such as limiting importation of wood from countries not protecting their forests or contributing funds to ecological groups. Opinion surveys in British Columbia, whose main economic activity is forestry, showed that 40% of respondents considered ecological problems to be the most serious, ahead of unemployment, the economy, or social services. But specific questions on clear cutting of forests, preservation of old forest in Vancouver, or pollution controls for the paper industry, which closely affected the local economy, divided opinion and probably demonstrated a desire to protect the environment without too greatly disturbing the local economy. Study of the reactions of developing country populations to environmental problems is difficult because of language and cultural barriers, political instability, war, natural catastrophes, and difficulty of establishing representative samples, among other factors. Results of a study of the opinion of the Maya population of southern Mexico and northern Guatemala on deforestation, land use, and development are expected to appear shortly. A study in Lima identified the proliferation of refuse in the street as the worst ecological problem for 42%, followed by air pollution caused by automotive exhausts for 30%. Only 1% believed disappearance of the rain forest to be the principal problem. The ordering of ecological problems was significantly influenced by social class. A comparison of the views on ecological problems of opinion leaders and the general public was conducted in 1988-89 in 16 countries on 4 continents. In most cases, the opinions of the leaders corresponded to those of the general public. Most respondents in all countries except Saudi Arabia considered their environment of average quality, and a majority believed that the place where they lived had worsening environmental conditions over the past decade. Majorities in all countries except Japan stated they support organizations that protect the environment.
JOURNAL OF FAMILY WELFARE. 1991 Jun; 37(2):28-39.The opinions of 150 men and 150 women from North Delhi, India on female feticide, that is selective abortion of female a fetus after amniocentesis, were determined by a questionnaire. Significantly more women, mostly older women, were positively disposed to female feticide, and fewer women were highly negative than were men. People with 2 or more children tended to have more negative opinions toward the practice than did those with one or no children. Women with middle or low income, and men with high income, tended to have highly negative opinions. No differences were found regarding occupation, number of daughters or ethnic group of the respondents. People generally agreed that continuing the family name, expense of daughters' marriages, need for sons to perform parents' last rites, and not allowing girls to take responsibilities after marriage were the most important reasons for aborting female fetuses. More than 60% of those surveyed agreed with the following means of preventing female feticide: higher education for girls, enforcement of laws against dowry, equal opportunities for women, education of girls, and teaching all children sexual equality.
AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in Jamaica: highlights of a nationwide survey and focus group series assessing current knowledge, attitudes, and practices.
[Unpublished] 1989 Jan. ii, 19 p.A nationwide baseline survey of 1,200 men and women aged 15-60 years was conducted to find information on Jamaicans' knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) regarding AIDS, STDs, and family planning. 25 focus group session were also held to gain more indepth knowledge and understanding of KAP. Results on KAP regarding AIDS and STDs are summarized and presented in comparison with similar data from a 35-country Gallup International study. Virtually all respondents were highly aware of AIDS and other STDs, and realize both its deadly nature and sexual transmissibility. There is, however, only low unprompted awareness of how one may protect against infection and the spread of HIV. General objection to adopting safer sex and using condoms was voiced. Over 1/2 of survey respondents perceived themselves at risk of infection. Both studies, however, show approximately 5% of the population to feel at risk. Those felling at greatest risk are aged 20-49, and especially urban males aged 20-39. Behavioral change was reported among 48% of survey respondents, especially in men, person of lower socioeconomic status, and those who perceived themselves at greater risk of infection. More concern was voiced over AIDS than for all other diseases including cancer, herpes, diabetes, gonorrhea, malnutrition, high blood pressure, and diarrhea. Further, almost 90% believe at least one important myth about a mode of transmission, and 20% think that people with AIDS (PWA) are readily recognized at sight. 5% of the population knew a PWA. Fear followed by compassion dominates public opinion toward them. Specific recommendations for AIDS media communications are presented.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms International, 1990. xv, 279 p. (Order No. 9023517)The determinants of family size preferences and traditional child-spacing practices in West Africa were examined. The working hypothesis is that there is a difference in the locus of control over decisions about family size in contrast with the locus of control in decision about traditional child spacing practices. While individual women perceive a powerful cultural and religious pressure for continued childbearing, nevertheless they have considerable flexibility in determining length of breastfeeding and postpartum abstinence. Data were from the World Fertility Surveys of Senegal (1978), Cote d'Ivoire (1990), Ghana (1979), and Cameroon (1979). An empirical analysis defined socioeconomic, cultural and institutional factors of ethnic groups, and ethnographic descriptions were also consulted. First multiple regression analysis, then REML/Bayesian multilevel estimation were employed. Economic modernization had an impact on desired family size, limited to the elite classes. Societies with higher gender inequalities have larger desired family sizes; while those where female status is high have greater individual control over childbearing, so that modernization has more impact over costs and benefits of fertility. Because the locus of control regarding desired family size is external, neither Islamic religion nor kinship ties have a significant effect on desired family size. In contrast, traditional spacing practices of women at all economic levels were affected by modernization: all reduced length of breastfeeding and abstinence, with larger impacts on the lower classes. Matrilinear/double descent societies have shorter durations of breast feeding than patrilinear societies. There was no difference in length of breast feeding between Islamic and non-Islamic societies. In societies where female status is high, economic modernization is a more important determinant of desired family size, but inequalities were less important regarding child-spacing. The results were discussed in terms of the adverse effect of modernization in Western Africa on population growth rate and maternal and child health.
Perspectives. 1973 Fall; 5(4):237-242.Reporting on responses of 311 women and 412 men to questions about family size and social pressures to have a certain number of children, data shows 2 children make an acceptable family size while 1 child does not. A family of 5 children is considered too large, but only 25% of the women say 4 children are too many; While the 2 child family is acceptable, figures indicate widespread tolerance of families as large as 3-4 children. Below 2 children and after 5, data indicate overt social pressures are exerted on couples to have an acceptable family size. Changes in economic conditions, shorter work week, unemployment for women could facilitate upward revision of family size into 3-4 child fertility intentions.
Urban Indian attitudinal response and behavior related to family planning: possible implications for the mass communication program.
Journal of Family Welfare. 1968; 14:31-38.In 1967 the Indian Institute of Public Opinion conducted a survey of 837 males and 163 females in 11 urban areas obtaining attitudes towards family planning and personal and national concerns. All in the sample were literate, with 72% having completed secondary school. 94% had heard of family planning and believed it was necessary for India. 58% know the location of a family planning clinic. Of those with 2 children, 94% said they did not want any more while 53% reported ever having practiced family planning. The average number of desired children was 2.9. The survey indicated that the family planning program has been successful in communicating awareness of family planning but that there needs to be greater emphasis on the communication of the relationship of controlling family size to individual and national fears regarding well-being, and for creating an awareness of the importance of reducting the family size norm to 2 children regardless of sex.