Are 'Low Socioeconomic Status' and 'Religiousness' barriers to minority women's contraceptive use in Sweden and Denmark? A qualitative interrogation of a common argument in health research

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Are 'Low Socioeconomic Status' and 'Religiousness' barriers to minority women's contraceptive use in Sweden and Denmark? A qualitative interrogation of a common argument in health research

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Publication Conference Abstract
Title Are 'Low Socioeconomic Status' and 'Religiousness' barriers to minority women's contraceptive use in Sweden and Denmark? A qualitative interrogation of a common argument in health research
Author Arousell, Jonna ; Carlbom, Aje ; Johnsdotter, Sara ; Essén, Birgitta
Date 2018
English abstract
Background: ‘Low socioeconomic status’ and ‘religious barriers’ have been presented as nearly universal explanatory reasons for why minority women are less likely than majority women in Scandinavian countries to use contraception. Recent studies have warned against giving such statistically ‘objective’ theories undue importance in the formulation of clinical recommendations. Drawing on this recent critique, the aim of this study was to qualitatively explore how ‘low socioeconomic status’ and ‘religiousness’ intersect with Muslim minority women’s contraceptive decisions. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Denmark and Sweden between 2013 and 2016. Data analysis was inspired by naturalistic inquiry. Findings: We found that a low level of education and low income were not necessarily obstacles for women’s use of contraception, but strong imperatives for women to wait having children until their life circumstances were more stable. Arguments grounded in Islamic dictates on contraception became powerful reasons for women to decide it was religiously correct to postpone having children, in case the financial and emotional resources were not yet at hand. Conclusions: We have shown that the dominant theory about that ‘low socioeconomic status’ and ‘religiousness’ are paramount barriers to minority women’s use of contraception must be challenged. When formulating suggestions for how to provide contraceptive counselling to minority women in Denmark and Sweden, one must also take into account factors such as low financial security as well as religious convictions which can be strong imperatives for women to use contraception. Main messages: The use of broad group-categorisations for understanding individuals’ contraceptive behaviours should be challenged The validity of initiating ‘targeted interventions’ towards large heterogeneous minority groups in Scandinavian contraceptive counselling should be critically discussed
Conference
1st World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health (17-19 May 2018 : Edinburgh, UK)
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cky048.028 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Oxford University Press
Host/Issue European Journal of Public Health;Suppl 1
Volume 28
ISSN 1101-1262
Language eng (iso)
Subject Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
contraceptive agents
denmark
socioeconomic factors
Medicine
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/26566 Permalink to this page
Link http://www.merhcongress.com/... (external link to related web page)
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA.
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