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The Consequence of Frequent Sex » Women's Courage

The Consequence of Frequent Sex

January 31st, 2013 by cukogu Leave a reply »

In my last blog, I focused on the beginning of the maternal health narrative by looking at reproductive coercion and the countless women that are forced to have sex and suffer from resultant disease, unwanted pregnancy, or death. I came to the realization that improving maternal health outcomes is contingent on empowering women in sexual situations and at the moment, increasing access to contraception and safe abortions. Basically, in order to reduce the level of maternal deaths we must reduce fertility rates, and the overall population.

While conducting research on interventions necessary to combat high fertility rates, I frequently came upon the economist theory called demographic transition. I found it highly insulting for people to theorize that fertility has a causal link to economic freedom and education—especially because there was no information on the role of contraception in preventing fertility rates. What this theory lacks, is an acknowledgement of human nature. We have SEX, and we have it often; therefore, without proper access to contraceptives, some women bear the burden of having unwanted children and are further impacted by poverty.

A recent paper by Dr. Martha Campbell called “Do Economists have Frequent Sex,” explored the implications of this flawed economist-supported theory. She found that “In many countries women still live in the depths of poverty and have little access to contraception. Such a woman does not have enough power to tell her husband “no sex tonight”—lest he treat her roughly or take on another wife or girlfriend—leaving her and her children with less food.  Oddly, economists seem to miss the realities of this sad situation, where women have few options about their childbearing.[i]

The dangers of childbirth and the rampant fertility rate are changing the family structure by eliminating stability. Countless mothers are dying leaving children to fend for themselves. Other mothers are ostracized because of fistulas caused by complications from childbirth.

This sad reality is very evident in Ukpor—a small rural village in Nigeria where my father grew up. I have visited many times growing up, but it seems that every year the situation becomes more stratified. It seems that each year more of the forest is cleared for more modern structures, while the plight of the local families continues to increase.


Ukpor, 2008

The picture captures the situation perfectly. The young girl pictured below is the fourth daughter of a family my father grew up with. Her mother, though aged feels pressure to continue bearing children in hopes of producing a son. I took this picture in 2008, and I can only imagine where she is now, and what her life has become.

Direct access to contraception and safe abortions are at the heart of the maternal health issue.





1 comment

  1. Katie says:

    I really like how this blog post ties in reality and human nature with some of the perhaps delusional reasoning behind certain interventions and prevention attempts. At the end of the day, there are certain unwavering truths about human nature (in terms of evolution and desires, probably more true for males than females) and the people addressing significant problems will always need to keep this fact in mind and work with it and not against it.

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