Fertility Control in a Risk Society

Type Book Section - Behavioural Contraception Methods
Title Fertility Control in a Risk Society
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 1-18
Publisher Springer
URL https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-81-322-3685-6_1
This chapter starts with a critical look at the traditional literature on behavioural contraception methods. This approach argues that behavioural methods are unreliable and used mainly by uneducated women from low-income households, or by women belonging to religions prohibiting the use of family planning methods. This does not, however, tally with the historical evidence on demographic transition in Europe, nor with the current behavioural patterns in South and South-east Asian countries. In India, too, reliance on behavioural methods is higher than what is expected. Moreover, it is the urban educated and affluent sections of the population who rely on behavioural methods. We suggest three possible explanations for the reliance of urban educated women on behavioural methods. The first approach argues that the use of such methods is a new form of femininity, manifesting itself as a cultural dissent against Western science and technology. The second explanation suggests that it is unsatisfied son preference that explains the reliance on behavioural methods. Finally, we put forward the hypothesis that the stresses and uncertainties of residing in a risk society determine the frequency of sexual intercourse and the conditions in which it takes place. These conditions determine the choice of contraception and why urban educated women rely on behavioural methods.

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