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Social network- and community-level influences on contraceptive use: evidence from rural Poland.

Colleran, H; Mace, R; (2015) Social network- and community-level influences on contraceptive use: evidence from rural Poland. Proc Biol Sci , 282 (1807) 10.1098/rspb.2015.0398. Green open access

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Abstract

The diffusion of 'modern' contraceptives-as a proxy for the spread of low-fertility norms-has long interested researchers wishing to understand global fertility decline. A fundamental question is how local cultural norms and other people's behaviour influence the probability of contraceptive use, independent of women's socioeconomic and life-history characteristics. However, few studies have combined data at individual, social network and community levels to simultaneously capture multiple levels of influence. Fewer still have tested if the same predictors matter for different contraceptive types. Here, we use new data from 22 high-fertility communities in Poland to compare predictors of the use of (i) any contraceptives-a proxy for the decision to control fertility-with those of (ii) 'artificial' contraceptives-a subset of more culturally taboo methods. We find that the contraceptive behaviour of friends and family is more influential than are women's own characteristics and that community level characteristics additionally influence contraceptive use. Highly educated neighbours accelerate women's contraceptive use overall, but not their artificial method use. Highly religious neighbours slow women's artificial method use, but not their contraceptive use overall. Our results highlight different dimensions of sociocultural influence on contraceptive diffusion and suggest that these may be more influential than are individual characteristics. A comparative multilevel framework is needed to understand these dynamics.

Type: Article
Title: Social network- and community-level influences on contraceptive use: evidence from rural Poland.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0398
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0398
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: community effects, contraception, cultural evolution, fertility decline, social networks, social transmission
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1468313
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