Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women

By Paul Sachdev | Go to book overview
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3
The Sample Women and How They Were Studied

We can safely assert that the knowledge that men can acquire of women... is wretchedly imperfect and superficial and will always be so until women themselves have told all that they have to tell.

John Stuart Mill1


STUDY FACTORS

The seventy women who participated in this study all lived in a large metropolitan city in Ontario, Canada. They were selected from the records of three major hospitals and a referral agency according to the criteria that they were 18 to 25 years old, white, unmarried, and pregnant for the first time and that their pregnancy had been terminated in the first trimester through the suction or dilation and evacuation (D & E) procedure. All these women obtained a therapeutic abortion on mental health grounds six months to one year prior to the follow-up interviews. The selection of women with homogeneous characteristics was intended to obtain a common baseline prior to their abortion. That is, an attempt was made to eliminate factors that could contribute to differences in the response patterns of these women and alter their reaction to the pregnancy and abortion, as they passed through the various phases of their experience.

The following section explains why the study was limited to only those women with homogenous characteristics such as age, marital status, race, and previous pregnancy and abortion. It was discussed in chapter 2 how a woman's psychological state is

____________________
1
Quoted in Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch. Frogmore, Herts, UK: Granada Publishing Ltd., 1971, p.13.

-51-

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