The issues associated with birth control have been a topic of public debates for several decades. The use of pregnancy prevention methods has been highly influenced by politics, social tendencies, and culture. This paper presents a discussion on birth control methods featuring the current literature on the topic. It concludes that healthcare policies, gender roles, education level, culture, and religion are significant factors that have affected the current public perspectives on the issue.
Birth Control Issues and Factors Affecting Them
For decades, birth control has been an acute topic that attracted public interest. Once considered taboo, the issue has gained broader acceptance in today’s world (Tay et al., 2017). According to Schuiling and Likis (2017), there are various birth control methods available for women today, including condoms, pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), diaphragm, and vaginal ring. Women can also consider hysterectomy and tubal sterilization, which are irreversible operations. However, with many contraceptive methods available, birth control issues remain debatable due to various political, social, and sociocultural factors.
Political factors that are related to public perceptions of birth control are, mostly, the existing healthcare policies aimed to support pregnant women and prevent the risks associated with unwanted pregnancies. On the contrary, the measures potentially designed to increase the birth rate, such as the prohibition of abortion, have affected the issue too. For example, Berer (2017) notes that abortion laws may be used as political tools. Due to the political factors, birth control methods have become more popular as many women do not want to have children, at least at the moment.
The significant social factors that have affected public views on birth control are gender roles, the population’s level of education, and access to contraception. For example, with the rise of sex education, more individuals started to understand the risks associated with unintended pregnancies, such as health complications. Moreover, higher educated women tend to use birth control methods more than those with lower degrees of education (Huizinga, 2015). The shift from strict female and male gender roles has allowed women to have more freedom in family planning; pills have become a popular method of contraception.
The primary sociocultural factors that have affected birth control are religion and cultural background. In many countries, it is uncommon to have sex before marriage, which means that birth control methods are seen unnecessary. Consequently, there may be a lack of sex education in these cultures, which results in women being unaware of available contraceptive methods and their benefits. Religious beliefs may also prevent individuals from using birth control as it may seem to be “against nature”; sex may be a taboo topic among religious groups of the population as well.
Personal views of providers can significantly influence their ability and readiness to manage care for women. Medical professionals’ awareness of the risks associated with unplanned pregnancies will encourage them to educate women on birth control methods. At the same time, the lack of education on contraception and sex, as well as conservative views of a care provider may result in a biased opinion and inadequate quality of family planning services.
As gender roles change and individuals’ level of education becomes higher, birth control methods become more popular. For care providers, it means that contraception is a significant healthcare issue that affects women’s health and should be considered. Nurses should be aware of the benefits and disadvantages of birth control methods to provide high-quality services to their patients. As their personal views may influence care significantly, they should educate themselves on the issues associated with contraception and eliminate possible biased opinion.
Berer, M. (2017). Abortion law and policy around the world: In search of decriminalization. Health and Human Rights, 19(1), 13-27.
Huizinga, D. J. H. (2015). The greatest hormonal experiment ever? An interdisciplinary investigation into the influence of the birth control pill on women in Western societies. Web.
Schuiling, K. D., & Likis, F. E. (2017). Women’s gynecologic health (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Tay, J., Vertes, A., Haque, S. B., Kan, K., Burt, E., & Sibbald, S. (2017). Birth control campaigns for youths and young adults: From the perspectives of different organizations. Cogent Medicine, 4. Web.