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The perplexing links between contraceptive sterilization and (dis)advantage in ten low-fertility countries

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This study investigated the association between contraceptive sterilization and socio-economic status (measured by educational attainment) in ten countries, using data from the 2006–10 National Survey of Family Growth and the 2004–10 Generations and Gender Surveys. The findings confirm that a long-standing association between socio-economic status and sterilization persists in the contemporary United States: female sterilization is associated with economic disadvantage, whereas male sterilization is associated with economic advantage. The latter association is found to be unique to the United States, but female sterilization is associated with disadvantage in most of the other countries studied. While basic demographic background factors such as early childbearing and parity can explain the observed associations in most of the countries, a strong gendered association between sterilization and socio-economic status remains in the United States and Belgium even after adjusting for these factors.
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Keywords: United States; comparative analysis; contraception; socio-economic status; sterilization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California, Los Angeles

Publication date: January 2, 2016

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