Determinants of sexual and reproductive rights language: Catholic men's opinions about fertility control in Mexico Open Access

Leidich, Aimee (2011)

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Determinants of sexual and reproductive rights language: Catholic men's opinions about fertility control in Mexico

By Aimee Leidich

BackgroundExercising sexual and reproductive rights (SRR) can be in conflict with Catholic doctrine, creating potential barriers to reproductive health access. The recent 2007 decriminalization of first trimester abortion in Mexico City was followed by sixteen state amendments redefining life as beginning at conception. The Mexican Constitution and ratified international human rights conventions guarantee Mexicans the right to self-determine their reproductive futures however government policies along with public opinion jump between support for progress and Catholic tradition.

Objective This study identifies factors associated with support for SRR among Catholic men in Mexico. Based on prior research, I hypothesize that support for abortion is not independently associated with support for SRR.

MethodsI used a subset of 1,304 men from a nationally representative 2009 survey of 3,000 self-identified Mexican Catholics aged 18 and over. Using logistic regression, we measured relationships between the outcome of interest (support for the right to decide the number and spacing of one's children) and the independent primary variable of interest (support for abortion within 12 weeks gestation) while controlling for demographics, religiosity (frequency of Church practices), and opinions about fertility control and Catholic identity.

Results Most men in Mexico (80.1%) support SRR but only 38.2% support abortion in the first trimester. After adjusting for confounders, support for abortion was not independently associated with support for SRR [aOR1.02(0.73-1.43)]. In turn, those more likely to support SRR include those who believe EC should be available to everyone [aOR1.81(1.30-2.52)], believe sexed should teach all methods of contraception [aOR2.02(1.40-2.92)] and believe someone can continue being a good Catholic after using contraception [aOR1.96 (1.41-2.72)].

DiscussionAmong Mexican Catholic men, supportive views about fertility control as well as believing contraception does not affect Catholic status are associated with support for SRR. I infer that Mexican Catholic men do not associate SRR with abortion rights but do associate that right with other fertility control strategies because their role in contraception education and use is more direct than their role in abortion.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction...1

Chapter 2: Comprehensive Review of the Literature

2.1 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Religion...5
2.2 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Catholicism...8
2.3 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights...12

2.4 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Men...14

Chapter 3: Manuscript

3.1 Contribution of Student...17
3.2 Abstract...18
3.3 Introduction...19

3.4 Methods...25
3.5 Results...29

3.6 Discussion...33
3.7 Manuscript References...36

3.8 Tables and Figures...38

Chapter 4: Conclusion, Recommendations and Limitations...45

Thesis References...49


1.International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) Cairo, 1994
Programme of Action

1.1 Chapter VII: Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health

2. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women
(CEDAW). Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979

2.1 Article 12
2.2 Article 16

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