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Trends and patterns in the attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the United States, 1972-1978.
Research in Nursing and Health. 1985 Sep; 8(3):219-225.The attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the US were studied for the period 1972-78. Purposes of the study were to: 1) analyze the trends and patterns in attitudes toward legal abortion in that period; 2) assess the possible effect of selected demographic, socioeconomic, religious, and fertility variables on attitudes towards legal abortion; and 3) determine the relationship between attitudes toward abortion and attitudes toward selected related issues such as premarital sex, sex education in public schools, birth control for teens and for anyone who desires it, and woman's role in the home, business, and politics. The independent variables found to have an effect on attitude toward abortion were: age, sex, marital status, geographic region, size of place, education, occupational prestige, women's employment status, religious preference, denomination, strength of religious preference, frequence of attendance at religious services, number of siblings, number of children, number of children expected in the future, and ideal family size. The data were drawn from the General Social Surveys (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center each year between 1972-78. A total of 10,652 respondents completed the interviews. Attitudes toward abortion were derived from combining the responses to 6 items which required the respondents to indicate whether or not it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion. Using the Guttman scalogram analysis, responses to the abortion items were tested for scalability and were found to scale well. The single largest group of respondents approved for legal abortion for all of the 6 reasons mentioned and the next largest group approved it only for the hard reasons (woman's health, rape, and possible child deformity). Trends in attitudes toward legal abortion were analyzed by percentage distribution. 2 major shifts in trend were noted in the attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the abovementioned period. In 1973, the percentage of approval rose considerably for each of the 6 reasons. In 1978, the 2nd shift occurred when the percentage of approval declined sharply for all but the reasons of woman's health and rape. Both shifts followed important judicial and congressional decisions made in the US with respect to the abortion issue. Generally speaking, younger, white, never-married respondents, and those who lived in the Pacific, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions, and in the large central cities were slightly more favorable toward abortion than were their counterparts. Education proved to be the most important socioeconomic variable in explaining the variability of attitude toward abortion. Jews showed the most favorable attitude and Catholics the least favorable attitudes toward abortion. Those who came from small families, or who had small families themselves, or who favored small family size ideal were more favorable toward abortion than those connected to larger families. Significant positive associations were found between attitudes toward premarital sex, sex education in public schools, availability of birth control information for teens, woman's role in the home, business, and politics, and attitudes toward abortion. Variability in attitudes toward abortion among white adults in the US between 1972-78 was best explained by the frequency of attendance at religious services combined with the variables of education, family size ideal, attitude toward available of birth control information to teens, attitude toward sex education in public schools, and attitude toward women's role in the home, business, and politics. (author's modified)
In: McDaniel EB, ed. Second Asian Regional Workshop on Injectable Contraceptives. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, World Neighbors, 1982. 74-83.To prevent anti Depo-Provera publicity family planning associations have used a number of techniques. They have helped to create positive attitudes to family planning by identifying, contacting, and informing decision makers and community opinion leaders. They have also pinpointed the opposition and tried to find areas of agreement. The author suggests that in reassuring the public serious concerns about Depo-Provera should be investigated and corrected and that a possible complication should not be covered up. The anti Depo-Provera publicity is mostly concentrated in the international women's movement and it is suggested to try to establish communication with women's groups which are not completely opposed to Depo-Provera. Planning family planning with a broader social context has depended on adjusting family planning programs to local development needs. If family planning organizations are seen as helping with community health and better living conditions there might be more positive attitudes toward the use of Depo-Provera as a family planning product. Successful Depo-Provera users also need to be encouraged to speak openly, especially if they are in influential positions. In addition journalists can be invited to hear the positive arguments for Depo-Provera and about family planning organizations in general, and if the confidence of the journalism community is gained then the family planning organization will be asked for its viewpoint more often. Some suggestions for creating good relations with media are: 1) hold press lunches, 2) hold informal briefings, 3) mail background information, 4) have third party medical support with the media, and 5) always be prepared to answer questions.
Family Planning Perspectives. 1982 Nov/Dec; 14(6):321-4.For 10 years, family planning groups have been trying to persuade the TV and radio industry that advertising nonprescriptive contraceptives would be an effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of venereal diseases, particularly among teenagers. Although formal restrictions on advertising contraceptives have been removed, the networks and most local radio and TV stations still ban commercials for contraceptive products. At a time when many consumers are concerned about health risks associated with the pill and the IUD, manufacturers of condoms, foams and jellies are not motivated to pursue expensive advertising campaigns. Of the stations polled, those with audiences mainly of the age group 18 to 34 are more likely to accept contraceptive advertisement than stations with an older audience. 50% of the stations polled would not air any such ads. Most broadcasters express concern about the quality of the ads if they were used and believe that their audience does not favor them. Few people questioned believe that such an advertising campaign would have much effect on sexual activity, venereal disease or pregnancies. The National Association of Broadcasters' survey reveals that by a margin of 53 to 41%, adults oppose broadcasting contraceptive commercials. Responses indicate that TV ads are less acceptable than radio advertising. Younger adults are more likely to favor ads than older persons. Single people also favor the contraceptive commercials. Less separated or divorced people and even fewer married or widowed people find such ads acceptable. 45% of men and only 35% of women support the advertisments. 40% of whites, 50% blacks and 66% Hispanics think that contraceptive commercials should be aired.
[Unpublished] 1982. Presented at the Conference on Vasectomy, Colombo, Sri Lanka, October 4-7, 1982. 13 p.There are 2 general types of barriers to vasectomy acceptance, cultural and individual. Cultural barriers include: 1) the idea that contraception should be the woman's responsibility, 2) that vasectomy represents a tampering with the natural processes of reproduction and this conflicts with many religions, 3) there is confusion over the legal status of vasectomy even though very few countries actually prohibit it, 4) the idea that men, due to their higher status in many societies, should not be exposed to unnecessary risks, 5) the idea that men who are not capable of reproducing have no worth in society, and 6) that men may need to be able to reproduce at a future date since in many societies only men are permitted to remarry. Research on psychological barriers to vasectomy is based on followup studies of vasectomized men and shows that negative male attitudes toward vasectomy stem from negative perceptions about the nature of consequences of the operation. Some men feel that vasectomy is like castration, that it is painful, has demasculinizing effects, causes a loss of vitality, and is irreversible. The population must be educated in order to overcome these barriers. Any communication program must include: 1) identifying existing sources of motivation for vasectomy, 2) increasing awareness of vasectomy through mass media and interpersonal channels, 3) increasing awareness through wider availability of the operation, and 4) improving the public attitude by publicizing client satisfaction with the operation. Men should be encouraged to seek vasectomy for the intrinsic benefits of the operation.
[Unpublished] 1982. Presented at the Conference on Vasectomy, Colombo, Sri Lanka, October 4-7, 1982. 6 p.This report attempts to synthesize Italy's experience regarding mobilizing and influencing public opinion for vasectomy acceptances in terms of basic policies and initiatives which may be extended to other countries and cultures. On the basis of Italy's experience, it is believed that no uniform approach can be applied to the different leading groups of a given country. Each religious and political group should be approached with specific arguments. With religious groups and leaders and the political parties directly influenced by them, the focus should be on the importance of family planning in general, and of vasectomy in particular, for the stability of the family and for a strengthening of affective ties between the spouses and between parents and children. The argument with nationalist groups and leaders should be that the key to military and international power is quality, not quantity, and technological advancement rather than sheer numbers. The basic arguments with Marxists, feminists and other radicals should concentrate on human rights and women's health. Finally, the argument that birth control is crucial for economic development, social advancement, reduction of unemployment and poverty can be effectively used with "mild" liberals and "mild" conservatives. The support of the media is necessary in any effort aimed at influencing public opinion. Personal contacts with influential journalists should be pursued. The popular strata should be primarily approached at the emotional level with the use of initiatives that can capture their imagination and messages which can effectively motivate them to surgical contraception. Much good work has already been done with medical and paramedical personnel, but better results might be obtained through motivational psychology. Capability and proficiency in vasectomy and sterilization procedures should be rewarded and honored in order to make them an object of professional competition among both medical and paramedical personnel. Special career advantages should be attached to proficiency in this area. Public and professional opinion may be influenced by transforming legal actions into national cases. Public and professional opinion may be influenced by transforming legal actions into national cases. The initiatives taken before and after the trial of the gynecologist Diorgio Conciani, incriminated by the Public Attorney of Lucca for having performed about 80 vasectomies on Italian citizens from many towns of Italy who had formally requested the procedure, by the Italian Association for Voluntary Sterilization may be usefully adapted to other countries. At the medical level some physicians in Milan, Rome, Venice, and Naples agreed to perform both male and female sterilizations. At the legal level the Association formed a legal council of defense.
Population Research and Policy Review. 1982 Jan; 1(1):43-58.This article presents the results of a [1980 U.S.] national survey about exclusionary rental policies concerning children. Based on a national sample of renters and the owners or managers of their rental units, the data document the nature, extent and magnitude of exclusionary policies, the attitudes of managers about renting to families with children, the attitudes of renters toward living near children, and the effects that these policies have had on American families. The study shows that exclusionary practices against children have increased in the past decade. The data suggest that exclusionary practices pose a real problem for many American families. (EXCERPT)
[The aged in a modified social and demographic context] De bejaarden in een gewijzigde maatschappelijke en demografische context
Bevolking en Gezin. 1982 Jun; (1):49-66.Some stereotyped ideas responsible for the negative image of the elderly that exists in modern society are first considered. Next, the author describes the recent evolution and current demographic profile of the aged population in Flanders and the Netherlands. The particular problems posed by the rapid growth in numbers of the very old are examined. (summary in ENG) (ANNOTATION)
Journal of Historical Geography. 1982 Jul; 8(3):283-98.Historical and contemporary works on the history of population ideas in France are reviewed. Trends in the birth rate over the past 150 years are discussed, and attitudes and reactions toward these trends are examined. Emphasis is on "the form, effects and regional diffusion of pronatalist propaganda during the period 1890-1939" and on the current demographic situation in France. (ANNOTATION)
[Demographic trends and policy responses] Tendenzen der Bevolkerungsentwicklung und politische Reaktionen/Tendances demographiques et reponses politiques/Tendenze demografiche e risposte politiche
Bern, Switzerland, Bundesamt fur Statistik, 1982. 39 p. (Beitrage zur Schweizerischen Statistik/Contributions a la Statistique Suisse/Contributi alla Statistica Svizzera no. 95)This document is the text of a report prepared by the Swiss government on the objectives and measures of its policies affecting demographic trends. The Swiss population increased by 1.42%/year between 1950-60 and 1.45% from 1960-70, but by 1970-80 the growth rate had declined to .15%/year. Switzerland, with a population in 1980 of 6,366,000, has been a country of immigration for over a century. The declining population growth rate of the 1970s was caused by increasing controls on the number of foreign immigrants and guest workers and by a decline in the birth rate. The Swiss population is aging; in 1980 13.7% were 65 or over and only 27.7% were under 20. The proportion of never married adults has increased, the number of divorces has increased, and the age at 1st marriage has increased to 27.4 for men and 24.9 for women in 1979. Women in 1980 had an average of 1.53 children each, up from 1.49 in 1978. Life expectancy in 1979 was 72.1 for men and 78.7 for women, and infant mortality in 1980 was 9/1000 live births. The Swiss government has tended to play a passive role in matters of population, with the exception of the rapid increase in foreigners in the 1960s and 70s. Few studies of the attitudes of the Swiss population toward the country's demographic development have been done, but 5 surveys undertaken betwen 1970-81 demonstrate widespread support of the government's restrictive migration policies. Apart from its desire for a balance between the native and foreign populations, the Swiss government has not indicated its demographic preferences for the future. However, issues of fertility and family constitution have played a role in some measures such as family allowances. The migration policy, in addition to seeking a balance between the foreign and native populations, also aims to assure the integration of longterm foreign residents into the Swiss population. No official institute of demographic studies exists in Switzerland, but a number of agencies and commissions carry out some demographic functions. Responsibility for demographic functions is shared by federal and local governments.
[Demographic goals and population-relevant policy of the member states of the Council of Europe: a comparison of 11 selected government reports prepared for the European Population Conference in Strasbourg on September 21-24, 1982] Demographische Ziele und bevolkerungsrelevante Politik der Mitgliedslander des Europarates--ein Vergleich 11 ausgewahlter Regierungsberichte fur die Europaische Bevolkerungskonferenz in Strassburg vom 21. bis 24. September 1982
Zeitschrift fur Bevolkerungswissenschaft. 1982; 8(3):412-27.The demographic goals and population-related policies of 11 countries are summarized and compared using as a source the government reports prepared for the 1982 European Population Conference. Consideration is also given to future population trends, government positions, and public opinion. Countries examined include Austria, Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. (ANNOTATION)
[Demographic situation and population policy in Hungary] Demographische Lage und Bevolkerungspolitik in Ungarn
Zeitschrift fur Bevolkerungswissenschaft. 1982; 8(4):589-605.An overview of demographic trends in Hungary over the past three decades is presented, and possible reasons for the decline in the birth rate are discussed. It is noted that a decrease in population is evident beginning in 1981. The pro-natalist policy measures that have been adopted in response to these trends are then reviewed, and their impact is evaluated. Public opinion concerning these policies is also examined. (summary in ENG, FRE) (ANNOTATION)
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 1982; 5(3-4):419-23.An examination of the aftermath of the law, passed by the German Reichstag in 1933 and providing for the involuntary sterilization of persons with hereditary disease, lead the authors to the conclusion that the tradition that gave rise to the Nazi movement continues into the present but in a more sublimated form. The Law on the Prevention of Hereditary Diseases in Future Generations mandated the sterilization of persons with inborn mental deficiences, schizophrenia, manic-depressive insanity, epilepsy, Huntington's disease, hereditary blindness or deafness, and severe physical deformities. The courts frequently extended the law to include gypsies, alcoholics and other persons defined as antisocial. As a result of nonpublic hearings in specially designated Heredity Health Courts, presided over by a judge and 2 medical experts, it was estimated that 200,000-350,000 persons were involuntarily serilized between 1933-1945. In 1945 the law was repealed, but unlike other Nazi legislation this law was viewed as having been lawfully enacted and orders issued under the law remained valid. retrials could be obtained by the victims, but the retrials determined only whether the legal provisions of the 1933 law had been met. Many victims do not seek retrials because they are ashamed of being sterilized and branded as having a hereditary disease. In recent years, compensations have been awarded to the victims but only if they are willing to come forward and apply. The medical and psychiatric experts are still caught up in the same thought patterns that brought the law into reality as evidenced by their willingess to develop retrial reports using criteria from the 1933 law. Furthermore, when the authors sought access to the case files one of te Heredity Health Courts in Hamburg, they were refused permission for 2 years despite their willingness to protect the identity of victims. The authors attributed these difficulties to the fear of exposure by experts and judges who were involved in these cases. The authors no have access to the files and are examining the cases. Their findings will be reported at a later date.
American Demographics. 1982 May; 4(5):14-19, 47.Add to my documents.
European Journal of Marketing. 1982; 16(6):46-53.The effective us of marketing strategies by nonprofit organizations necessitates involvement in political activities, i.e., mobilizing power to influence others. Most nonprofit groups and marketing experts who work for nonprofit groups are not sufficiently aware of the value of using the tactics of politics to win support for their causes. The experiences of a voluntary group which used politics and power to develop a program aimed at assisting unemployed black youth were presented. The group wanted to establish a workshop to provide training for hard core unemployed youth. The group needed to raise funds to set up the workshop. The 1st step was to identify a target group of potential donors, and then to develop a strategy for selling their product, i.e., the worthiness of the workshop project. The group decided to direct its fund raising activities toward organizations in the community rather than individuals. The market was segmented, and the product was presented differently to differ groups. Initially, the voluntary group was powerless. Political tactics were subsequently used to legitimate the group and its product. A network of influencial sympathizers, primarily clergymen and politicians, was established. This network helped the group garner the support of the targeted donor organizations. The threat of sanctions was used to gain support for the project, but sanctions were applied with considerable care. For example, the support of local politicians was obtained partially by implicitly threatening them with the possibility of bad publicity if they failed to promote the project. Voluntary organizations are not immune to internal conflict and competition. In introducing a marketing perspective into a voluntary organization, internal politics must be taken into account. In the case presented here, the marketer had to decide who in the organization to align himself with and then develop strategies to increase his influence and the influence of his allies. In organizing and operating the workshop it was sometimes necessary to engage in the political strategies of negotiation and compromise to settle conflicts arising out of the differing perspectives of the project's donors and clients (the unemployed youth). In summary, a group which seeks to exert changes in the attitudes, values, and behavior of another group must involve itself in the political tactics of negotiation, bargaining, legitimizing, and manipulating. Marketers are advised to accept as clients only those nonprofit organizations with which they share common values. They may then abandon their customary role of dispassionate expert and adopt the more effective role of committed power broker.
New York, New York, Harper and Row, 1982. ix, 278 p.A revision of the 1973 "Men, Messages, and Media," this book attempts to introduce the reader to the communication process, with revisions to reflect the growth of knowledge and experience in teaching. The initial sections, which deal with the nature of language, cover the following: how communication developed; what communication does; the process of communications; the signs and codes of communication; and the pathways of communication, that is, who talks to whom. The section devoted to the mass media concentrates on the makeup of audiences, the nature of their exposure to television and print, and the process through which news, in particular, is highlighted. Material dealing with social control of the mass media has been elaborated and updated. The major theories of the effects of communication are reviewed, and some of the context of their historical development identified. Focus in the final chapter is on communication tomorrow -- an age geared to computers, recorders, individualized and interactive broadcasting, and new systems for storing and exchanging information. These are the beginning years of such as age. The beginning chapters talk about human communication as it exists, a system in place sufficiently long to be able to talk about models of how it works, the nature of social controls upon it, the audiences it has, and its effects. It is necessary to understand that this focus is prologue to a new age in which the basic nature of human communication will not change yet one in which the social system of communication itself is likely to be considerably different from the ages of communication known in the past. The signs of this new ge include an explosion of new communication technology, the enormous increase in the production of information, and a significant change in the work forces, i.e., a larger and larger proportion of service and business jobs concerned with information. Some of the characteristics of this new age will be: more information will flow, with consequent chance of an overload; information will come faster, making it necessary to create mechanisms and institutions to scan and sort and process it more effectively; a higher proportion of the information will come from farther away; more of this flow of information than at any time since the introduction of radio is likely to be point-to-point rather than point-to-mass; and information is likely to be a source of power to those who have quick access to it and can process it efficiently.