Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reproductive coercion often is accompanied by physical or sexual violence, study finds

Date:
January 27, 2010
Source:
University of California - Davis - Health System
Summary:
Young women and teenage girls often face efforts by male partners to sabotage birth control or coerce pregnancy -- including damaging condoms and destroying contraceptives -- and these efforts, defined as "reproductive coercion," frequently are associated with physical or sexual violence, a study has found.

Young women and teenage girls often face efforts by male partners to sabotage birth control or coerce pregnancy -- including damaging condoms and destroying contraceptives -- and these efforts, defined as "reproductive coercion," frequently are associated with physical or sexual violence, a study by a team of researchers led by UC Davis has found.

Related Articles


Published online in the January issue of the journal Contraception, the study, "Pregnancy Coercion, Intimate Partner Violence and Unintended Pregnancy," also found that among women who experienced both reproductive coercion and partner violence, the risk of unintended pregnancy doubled. The study is the first quantitative examination of the relationship between intimate partner violence, reproductive coercion and unintended pregnancy, the authors say.

"This study highlights an under-recognized phenomenon where male partners actively attempt to promote pregnancy against the will of their female partners," said lead study author Elizabeth Miller, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the UC Davis School of Medicine and a practitioner at UC Davis Children's Hospital. "Not only is reproductive coercion associated with violence from male partners, but when women report experiencing both reproductive coercion and partner violence, the risk for unintended pregnancy increases significantly."

Conducted between August 2008 and March 2009 at five reproductive health clinics in Northern California, the study involved approximately 1,300 English- and Spanish-speaking 16- to 29-year-old women who agreed to respond to a computerized survey about their experiences with relationships and pregnancy.

Study participants were asked questions about birth-control sabotage, pregnancy coercion and intimate partner violence to assess their experience of pregnancy coercion and birth control sabotage. Questions included:

  • "Has someone you were dating or going out with ever told you not to use any birth control" or "… said he would leave you if you would not get pregnant?"
  • "Has someone you were dating or going out with ever taken off the condom while you were having sex so that you would get pregnant?"

Approximately one in five young women said they experienced pregnancy coercion and 15 percent said they experienced birth control sabotage. Over half the respondents -- 53 percent -- said they had experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. More than a third of the women who reported partner violence -- 35 percent -- also reported either pregnancy coercion or birth control sabotage.

"We have known about the association between partner violence and unintended pregnancy for many years," said Jay Silverman, the study's senior author and an associate professor of society, human development and health in the Harvard School of Public Health. "What this study shows is that reproductive coercion likely explains why unintended pregnancies are far more common among abused women and teens."

The study authors said the research underscores the importance of educating women seeking care about reproductive coercion, and ensuring that women who are seeking reproductive health services are offered counseling on ways to prevent pregnancy that are less vulnerable to partner interference, as well as connected to domestic violence-related services. The study also highlights the importance of working with young men to prevent both violence against female partners and coercion around pregnancy.

"This study confirms that women experiencing partner violence are more likely to have greater need for sexual and reproductive health services," Miller said. "Thus, clinical settings that offer reproductive health services likely offer the greatest opportunity to identify women experiencing partner violence and to ensure that women receive the counseling and support they may need." Comprehensive assessment in clinical settings for pregnancy coercion, birth control sabotage and intimate partner violence should be considered a priority in the context of family planning services. Moreover, public health efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy should ensure that discussions of reproductive coercion are included in pregnancy prevention programs, she said.

Other study authors include Michele Decker and Heather McCauley of the Harvard School of Public Health, Daniel Tancredi of UC Davis, Rebecca Levenson of the Family Violence Prevention Fund of San Francisco, and Jeffrey Waldman and Phyllis Schoenwald of the Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo Affiliate.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as well as by a UC Davis Health System Research Award and a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Award to Miller.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis - Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis - Health System. "Reproductive coercion often is accompanied by physical or sexual violence, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125094503.htm>.
University of California - Davis - Health System. (2010, January 27). Reproductive coercion often is accompanied by physical or sexual violence, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125094503.htm
University of California - Davis - Health System. "Reproductive coercion often is accompanied by physical or sexual violence, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125094503.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins