Project: Research project

Project Details


Family planning services (including contraception and infertility services)
and abortion services are delivered in a variety of settings, primarily by
obstetrician-gynecologists. There is considerable evidence that
physicians' attitudes toward these services and toward women clients, as
well as their practice decisions, influence the volume and nature of
fertility-control services delivered to women, the settings in which these
services are delivered, and their accessibility to adolescents, the poor,
and minorities. With growing levels of teenage pregnancy and current
threats to the provision of family planning and abortion services, the role
of providers as "gate-keepers" in the fertility-control services delivery
system is likely to become an increasingly important determinant of
fertility regulation among women. This study will investigate the
implications of the changing sex composition of obstetrics-gynecology for
the delivery of fertility-control services to women. Since 1974, the
proportional representation of women physicians in obstetrics-gynecology
has grown: women are now 33% of all residents in the specialty and will
soon be 20% of practicing obstetrician-gynecologists, up from 9%
previously. Women may be more sensitive providers of fertility-control
services, extending their accessibility to more women and improving
clients' effective use of such services. A cross-sectional national survey
combining telephone interviews and mailed questionnaires will be conducted
using a stratified random sample of male and female physicians who recently
completed residencies in obstetrics-gynecology. The American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists will assist in selecting a sample of about
2,000 physicians, 50% of whom are women. Analysis will focus on the
relative influences of gender, practice settings, and professional
socialization on both attitudes toward and delivery of specific
fertility-control services to various types of patients. Findings will
permit us to anticipate changes in the volume, distribution, and nature of
fertility-control services to women as a consequence of the increasing
proportion of women providers.
Effective start/end date1/1/901/1/90


  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


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