Matching Items (12)

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Human Preconception Sex Selection: Informing the Public of Sex Selection Methods and Ethical Considerations

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Scientific and public interest in determining the sex of a child prior to conception has a longstanding history. Since at least the fourth century BC, people have been interested in

Scientific and public interest in determining the sex of a child prior to conception has a longstanding history. Since at least the fourth century BC, people have been interested in what determines whether a child will be a boy or a girl. It was not until the mid 1800s, when scientists first discovered female eggs and male sperm, and further learned that the combination of the genetic make-up of those sex cells began the process of conception, that science began to take precedence over popular beliefs and scientists began to make discoveries about the reproductive process in humans. In the mid-twentieth century, two methods of sex selection emerged based on the idea that human male sperm cells are physically different based on which sex chromosome they carry, either X or Y. The first type of method gained popularity in the 1960s and involved timing intercourse throughout the female menstrual cycle. The two timing methods of sex selection outlined in this paper are the Shettles Method and the Whelan Method. The second type of method was based on the idea that the physical differences between the two types of sperm cells allow for sperm cell separation using technology. The method that is outlined in this paper is called the Ericsson Method of Sperm Separation, and this paper also outlines a company called Microsort that utilizes this technology. However, many studies that tested the methods based on differences in the two types of male sperm were inconclusive, meaning that the methods were supported by some and rejected by others. Despite the evidence that can neither prove nor contest those methods with absolute certainty, their popularity has been maintained in the public eye. By questioning methods of sex selection since their early development, and often discovering that they are unreliable, scientists have increased the creative and technological capacity of the field of reproductive health. The presentation of these methods to the public, via published books on timing methods and company websites for sperm sorting, increased interest in, and influence of, sex selection within the global society. The purpose of explaining the history, interest, development, and impact of various sex selection methods in the mid-twentieth century based on the information that is available on them today is to show couples which methods have failed and provide them with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision on how they choose to go about utilizing methods of sex selection. This paper also reflects on the ethical considerations of sex selection. The ethical considerations demonstrate the influence that sex selection has on both a global and local scale and how it is being managed in different parts of the world. This allows an individual member of the public to determine what they consider to be an ethical decision based on this information, in addition to an informed decision about the methods if they wish to go through with choosing the sex of their child.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Exposing Women's Experiences with Von Willebrand Disease: A Case Study of Online Support Groups

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This research explores the unique and complicated experiences of women living with Von Willebrand Disease (VWD). VWD occurs with quantitative or qualitative deficiencies in Von Willebrand Factor—a key protein involved

This research explores the unique and complicated experiences of women living with Von Willebrand Disease (VWD). VWD occurs with quantitative or qualitative deficiencies in Von Willebrand Factor—a key protein involved in blood clotting. While VWD affects men and women, women often suffer harsher complications because of menstruation, childbirth, and other women’s health issues. Using online VWD support groups, this research recognizes and attempts to understand the common experiences of women with VWD. Availability of Care, Motherhood, Community and Sisterhood, Girlhood, Sexual Health and Reproductive Health, and Stigma were the six common themes found within these online support groups. Women in these groups corroborate the current understandings of women-specific experiences with VWD: particularly, heavy menstruation, postpartum hemorrhaging, diagnostic difficulties, treatment complications, and implications of an overall lower quality of life. However, these women also report VWD-induced complications with sexual health, mental health, care when trying to conceive, misinterpretations of bruising, constraints on healthcare availability, and the stigma associated with heavy menstruation. These findings address gaps in the literature and identify new areas for further research. Ideally, these conclusions will provide educational materials for healthcare professionals, government legislatures, and families to better support women and girls with VWD.
Keywords: Von Willebrand disease, women’s health, sexual health, mental health, reproductive health, phenomenology, and stigma

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Dismantling Legal Constraints to Contraception in the 1900s

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In the late nineteenth century, the Comstock Act of 1873 made the distribution of contraception illegal and classified contraception as an obscenity. Reflecting the predominant attitude towards contraception at the

In the late nineteenth century, the Comstock Act of 1873 made the distribution of contraception illegal and classified contraception as an obscenity. Reflecting the predominant attitude towards contraception at the time, the Comstock Act was the first federal anti-obscenity law that targeted contraception. However, social acceptance of birth control changed at the turn of the twentieth century. In this thesis, I analyzed legislation, advocates, and literature pertinent to that social change to report on the events leading up to the decriminalization of contraception. Because of the complexity of social history, I used legislation and court cases to track pivotal movements that reflected a change in the accessibility and acceptability of birth control. I focused on the efforts of two prominent birth control advocates, Margaret Sanger and Mary Dennett, and analyzed the impact of their efforts in that social movement. I learned that they incited court cases that questioned the validity of the Comstock Act and helped influence societal acceptance of birth control. Through my research, I discovered that the medicalization of contraception influenced its decriminalization and acceptance by society.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Informed Consent Laws for Abortion: What Do Women Have a "Right to Know?"

Description

As of 2019, 30 US states have adopted abortion-specific informed consent laws that require state health departments to develop and disseminate written informational materials to patients seeking an abortion. Abortion

As of 2019, 30 US states have adopted abortion-specific informed consent laws that require state health departments to develop and disseminate written informational materials to patients seeking an abortion. Abortion is the only medical procedure for which states dictate the content of informed consent counseling. State abortion counseling materials have been criticized for containing inaccurate and misleading information, but overall, informed consent laws for abortion do not often receive national attention. The objective of this project was to determine the importance of informed consent laws to achieving the larger goal of dismantling the right to abortion. I found that informed consent counseling materials in most states contain a full timeline of fetal development, along with information about the risks of abortion, the risks of childbirth, and alternatives to abortion. In addition, informed consent laws for abortion are based on model legislation called the “Women’s Right to Know Act” developed by Americans United for Life (AUL). AUL calls itself the legal architect of the pro-life movement and works to pass laws at the state level that incrementally restrict abortion access so that it gradually becomes more difficult to exercise the right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade. The “Women’s Right to Know Act” is part of a larger package of model legislation called the “Women’s Protection Project,” a cluster of laws that place restrictions on abortion providers, purportedly to protect women, but actually to decrease abortion access. “Women’s Right to Know” counseling laws do not directly deny access to abortion, but they do reinforce key ideas important to the anti-abortion movement, like the concept of fetal personhood, distrust in medical professionals, the belief that pregnant people cannot be fully autonomous individuals, and the belief that abortion is not an ordinary medical procedure and requires special government oversight. “Women’s Right to Know” laws use the language of informed consent and the purported goal of protecting women to legitimize those ideas, and in doing so, they significantly undermine the right to abortion. The threat to abortion rights posed by laws like the “Women’s Right to Know” laws indicates the need to reevaluate and strengthen our ethical defense of the right to abortion.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Zero Population Growth: Discourses of Female Empowerment and Social Control in Tension

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The idea that population growth presents a major threat to global stability has existed ever since Thomas Malthus first theorized about the catastrophic implications of the Industrial Revolution in 1798.

The idea that population growth presents a major threat to global stability has existed ever since Thomas Malthus first theorized about the catastrophic implications of the Industrial Revolution in 1798. This oversimplified, alarmist narrative later dovetailed with Cold War anxieties about the teeming population of newly designated "third world" nations in the United States post-WWII, inspiring decades of international policy focused on restricting the fertility of women in the global South. Today, global family planning programs suggest that the distribution of contraceptives is an essential means to empowering women around the world, but a historical analysis of the coercive and eugenicist inclinations of the population and development field reveals that not much has changed outside of rhetorical fronts. By focusing only on fertility reduction as a direct route to slowing population growth and solving problems supposedly directly related to it, traditional policies fail to acknowledge the systemic inequalities that perpetuate social systems like poverty and gender inequity. Zero population growth narratives frame women in the global South as objectified reproductive bodies in need of external manipulation, and in doing so, embody a Western colonialist mentality of cultural and technological superiority. This thesis argues that while the scarcity of resources available for an exponentially growing global population is alarming, more attention should be paid to the driving forces behind the inequitable distribution of those resources than attempts to regulate the fertility of those who are most disadvantaged by the system in the first place.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Reproductive Health and Contraceptive Access in Post-Communist Romania

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When communist leader Ceaușescu was overthrown in the Romanian revolution of 1989, Romania reinstated reproductive freedoms that had been denied under communist policy. This study looks at reproductive health

When communist leader Ceaușescu was overthrown in the Romanian revolution of 1989, Romania reinstated reproductive freedoms that had been denied under communist policy. This study looks at reproductive health in Romania in 2013, examining the progress in reproductive healthcare made since 1989 while looking at lingering barriers to resources and education. Thirty-five pharmacists were surveyed to collect information on pricing and accessibility of contraceptives in pharmacies. In addition, interviews were conducted with the director of Societatea de Educatie Contraceptiva si Sexuala (SECS), a reproductive clinic healthcare provider, a professor of philosophy and feminism at Babeș-Bolyai University, and four young Romanian women.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Informing Choice: The Impact of Visual Resources on Likelihood Revision & Contraceptive Method Selection

Description

Long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs) are a class of highly effective contraceptive methods that includes the hormonal IUD, the copper IUD and the Implant. Despite pregnancy prevention prevailing as the

Long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs) are a class of highly effective contraceptive methods that includes the hormonal IUD, the copper IUD and the Implant. Despite pregnancy prevention prevailing as the primary motivation for contraceptive use and the pill’s lower effectiveness in actual use, the birth control pill is the most commonly used method among people aged 18-24 years old. Through surveying 300 undergraduate female students from Arizona State University, we studied the impact of a visual resource, tiering methods by effectiveness, on the revision of likelihood of use for any contraceptive method and for LARCs in particular. We found that the visual resource significantly impacted likelihood of LARC use and that participants who cited pregnancy prevention as their only motivation for using a contraceptive method revised their likelihood of LARC use significantly more than participants who cited only hormonal benefit or more than one motivation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The impact of men's labor migration on the sexual and reproductive health of their left-behind wives in Tajikistan

Description

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study is to examine the impact of international male labor migration on the sexual and reproductive health of women who stay back home in Tajikistan. The

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study is to examine the impact of international male labor migration on the sexual and reproductive health of women who stay back home in Tajikistan. The data for this study was gathered as a result of ethnographic field works conducted on several occasions from 2011 to 2013.

The results of the study suggest that male migration does not have an impact on fertility levels of the left-behind women. Although similarly to previous studies this study shows that wives of migrants are less likely to use contraception, it nevertheless demonstrates changes in contraceptive behaviors of wives of migrants such as seasonal removal and insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) and shift from long-term to short-term contraception use. However, despite the availability of numerous forms of contraception in the country, the pattern of contraceptive use such as the reliance on IUDs dominant during the Soviet period continues to exist among wives of non-migrants. One of the most important findings of this study is women’s ability to use condoms for a short term with husbands after their return and asking spouses to have an HIV test. This finding challenges the dominant discourses in HIV and migration literature focusing on the inability, impossibility and failure on the part of the wives to negotiate HIV prevention due to various factors impeding the promotion of HIV prevention skills and measures among women.

Moreover, the study demonstrates that, on the one hand, male migration worsens reproductive health of the left-behind women, but, on the other hand, it improves/increases their access to reproductive health institutions thanks to remittances. Although self-reported symptoms of women show a slight difference in reproductive morbidity, including STIs of wives of migrants and non-migrants, health care providers believe that this difference is significant and wives of migrants are more likely to have complications during pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery periods.

The study also shows that the majority of HIV prevention and family planning programs target only wives of migrants and non-migrants, however it is crucial that migrant men should also be targets of these programs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Encounters with the state: a study of pathways to pregnancy prevention and termination in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

This research project analyzes women’s dynamic pathways to pregnancy prevention and termination in Arizona. Two levels of analysis guide the study: The first is a cultural analysis of the socio-legal

This research project analyzes women’s dynamic pathways to pregnancy prevention and termination in Arizona. Two levels of analysis guide the study: The first is a cultural analysis of the socio-legal conditions that shape the channels to birth control and abortion. During this historical moment, I analyze the fight over increasing (and calls for more) legal constraints against contraception and abortion, coupled with decreasing individual access to reproductive health care information and services. This dissertation includes an examination of the struggle over reproductive health on the ground and in the legal arena, and real pushbacks against these constraints as well. The second is an analysis of how women seek out contraception or abortion within the US socio-legal landscape. The study qualitatively examines narratives from 33 women in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, a region emblematic of the political contest over the legal regulation of women’s reproductive health currently unfolding nationally. Ultimately, the state is implicated in the various resources and barriers—people, places, processes and policies—that inform women’s pregnancy prevention. These experiences can illuminate the ways that reproductive health care is shaped by intersecting and sometimes competing ideologies, and how women encounter them in their daily lives. The study theorizes the embodiment of women’s local encounters with the state within a cultural context of contested law and policy reform.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Living between two cultures: a reproductive health journey of African refugee women

Description

Most studies on refugee populations tend to focus on mental health issues and communicable diseases. Yet, reproductive health remains a major aspect of refugee women's health needs. African refugee women

Most studies on refugee populations tend to focus on mental health issues and communicable diseases. Yet, reproductive health remains a major aspect of refugee women's health needs. African refugee women in the United States continue to experience some difficulties in accessing reproductive health services despite having health insurance coverage. The purpose of this study was to understand the reproductive health journey of African refugee women resettled in Phoenix, Arizona. This study also explored how African refugee women's pre-migration and post-migration experiences affect their relationships with health care providers. The study was qualitative consisting of field observations at the Refugee Women's Health Clinic (RWHC) in Phoenix, verbally administered demographic questionnaires, and semi-structured one-on-one interviews with twenty African refugee women (between the ages of 18 and 55) and ten health care providers. The findings were divided into three major categories: pre-migration and post migration experiences, reproductive health experiences, and perspectives of health care providers. The themes that emerged from these categories include social isolation, living between two cultures, racial and religious discrimination, language/interpretation issues and lack of continuity of care. Postcolonial feminism, intersectionality, and human rights provided the theoretical frameworks that helped me to analyze the data that emerged from the interviews, questionnaire and fieldnotes. The findings revealed some contrasts from the refugee women's accounts and the accounts of health care providers. While refugee women spoke from their own specific social location leading to more nuanced perspectives, health care providers were more uniform in their responses leading to a rethink of the concept of cultural competency. As I argue in the dissertation and contrary to conventional wisdom, culture per se does not necessarily translate to resistance to the American health care system for many African refugee women. Rather, their utilization (or lack thereof) of health services are better conceived within a broader and complex context that recognizes intersectional factors such as gender, racialization, language, displacement, and class which have a huge impact on the reproductive health seeking patterns of refugee women.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011