Number of Women 'Tricked' Into Parenthood is On Rise

A recent study led by Brown University suggests that some men are "tricking" women into pregnancy by poking holes into condoms or hiding birth control pills.

The study consisted of 641 ob-gyn patients, and found that 16 percent had been "tricked" into parenthood because their significant others sabotaged their birth control.

It is called "reproductive coercion" and is thought to affect mainly unmarried, sexually active women in abusive relationships. 

But now, researchers are finding that the issue is wider than previously thought, as it happened across socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.

"What is striking is that reproductive coercion affected women of all socioeconomic levels and educational backgrounds," Dr. Lindsay Clark said. "It doesn't just affect poor and uneducated women."

Dr. Elizabeth Miller said that some men are motivated to do it because they have an "intense desire for a nuclear family" or they had experienced a dysfunctional childhood and want something better for their offspring.

"Some young men what to leave a legacy…Gang-affiliated young men want the status that comes with having babies from multiple women," Miller said.

Clark's recent study reveals that reproductive coercion is on the rise. A 2010 study found that 4.8 percent of women's partners engaged in "reproductive coercion," and this recent study suggests that number is now 16 percent.

Now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends ob-gyns routinely screen women during visits and ask questions like, "Does your partner support your decision about when or if you want to become pregnant?"

They also said doctors can provide more "concealed" methods of contraception, like giving birth control pills in plain envelopes or using copper Intrauterine Devices with strings trimmed.

Along with women, men can also be subject to coercion. Around 8.7 percent of men reported having a partner who tried getting pregnant against their wishes in a 2010 survey.

Sources: Daily Mail, ACOG


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