This study examines the factors that impact women’s contraceptive choices. Using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques, combing survey and interview data, I explore the narratives women tell about their experience using birth control. Family Planning clinics, where women receive information and care, provide a space that is both assessable and confidential. The way that women talk about their experience using birth control is socially influenced based on the dominant narratives of their reference groups. The political and social atmosphere often informs reference group norms, which are then internalized by the individual and expressed through their contraceptive care choices. Significant events that occur in the lives of women shape the ways in which women talk about and use contraceptives. Women often use medicalized accounts of their physical experience with birth control to help distance themselves from its connotations with sexual activity. A narrative of the shared reproductive experience with their reference group shapes the way in which women assume and understand their own experience with contraceptives.
Includes bibliographical references.