Cultural and Societal Implications on Family Planning

By Melissa Rene Balbuena and Shane Marcus Root.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 4, 2014 $US5.00

Family planning is a global affair – one with strong cultural and societal implications that transcend the traditional boundaries of the immediate family. Consequently, it is a personal or familial decision that is ultimately shaped by one’s culture. Family planning holds equal importance in both developing and developed countries, as growing families need adequate care and resources. Family planning is defined by the World Health Organization as a means for couples and individuals to willfully arrange the number and timing of births. It is also used to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and therefore has a direct impact on male and female reproductive health, as well as maternal risk associated with pregnancy. Common practices of family planning include pregnancy detection and guidance, sexually transmitted infection screening, and use of contraceptives. A review of literature shows that the method used differs greatly depending on access to care, religion, and cultural or societal influence. This article examines different regions of the world, including Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States; their current family planning models; and how culture can either hinder or aid improvement. Furthermore, this research will address what other developments can be made in regards to family planning and reproductive health, while maintaining cultural standards respective to the different regions considered.

Keywords: Family Planning, Culture, Reproductive Health

Global Studies Journal, Volume 6, Issue 4, August 2014, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 419.509KB)).

Melissa Rene Balbuena

MD Candidate, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA

Shane Marcus Root

MD Candidate, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA


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