Contraception and the status of women: what is the link?
In this article, we explore the notion that easy access to near-perfect contraception--that is, contraception that allows virtually complete control over the occurrence and timing of childbearing--is an important factor contributing to improvements in the status of women, in and of itself, whether or not it lowers fertility. We measure women's status in terms of education and wage rates relative to those of men, although these two variables are by no means the only definition of the status of women. The geographic focus is on the United States, with some data from other countries included This is a revised version of a paper originally presented at the 1986 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (see Population Index, Vol. 52, No. 3, Fall 1986, p. 406) (EXCERPT)