Edited by a noted scholar of health and sexuality, Encyclopedia of Birth Control is a complete report on the historical development and efficacy of contraceptive practices around the world, both past and present.
The morning-after pill. Condom distribution in schools. Few issues are as divisive in contemporary society as birth control—fierce battles are continually being fought over a woman's right to choose. Few matters have altered society and culture so profoundly in recent years as the new contraceptive options available to women.
Without contraception, a healthy, sexually active woman will give birth to about 15 children and over her life span, spend most of her reproductive years either pregnant or nursing a newborn infant. So controlling fertility has preoccupied women—and often their husbands—since at least 1000 B.C.
In this comprehensive reference, readers can explore the history of birth control from a variety of perspectives: anthropological, biological, economic, feminist, medical, political, and psychological. From wet nurses to chastity belts, from animal-dung contraceptives to the Dalkon Shield, readers will learn how women have attempted birth control, contraception, and abortion throughout history and throughout the world. Readers will also discover why opposition to birth control was so fierce early in the 20th century that many American women and men were jailed for disseminating information on avoiding pregnancy, and why family planning remains hotly controversial almost a century later.
• More than 100 A–Z entries written by scholars in bioethics, history, nursing, sexual medicine, and sociology
• Descriptions of the positions of the major religions toward birth control
• Country-by-country analysis of current contraceptive practices
• Illustrations including contemporary and historical photographs, posters, advertisements, and art
• The most comprehensive historical survey available of birth control, contraception, and abortion
• Includes information on contraceptive methods—both successful and unsuccessful
• Includes detailed biographies of leading birth control advocates like Margarent Sanger and Hannah Stone
• Presents objective discussions of contraception controversies from the ancient world to the present day