Sex, Abortion, and Unmarried Women

By Paul Sachdev | Go to book overview
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The Women and Their Sexual and Contraceptive Dossiers

It's obvious, if you were going to sleep with someone and you weren't going to take precautions one thing is clear: either you got pregnant or you didn't.

21-year-old secretary


The seventy women were between the ages of 18 and 25, with an average age of 21.2. The women were concentrated in the younger age category, 18-21 (cutting point for the purposes of the study), comprising 57 percent of the sample. Nearly one-half were Protestants, less than one-third were Catholics, and 14.3 percent reported no affiliation. Jewish women represented 1.4 percent (See table 4.1).

The study women were classified according to their degree of religious commitment, which was measured by frequency of church attendance, degree of religious beliefs, and participation in church- related activities.1 They seemed to be divided almost evenly between religiously devout and those not devout or religiously inactive. Fifty- four percent claimed to be either very religious or moderately religious, and 46 percent reported not being religious at all. The fact that many of these women were religious belies the impression that the women who seek abortions are not committed to religious norms.

Frequently only one measure, church attendance, is used as a measure of religious commitment. (See, for example, Kinsey et al. 1953; Reiss 1967; Westoff et al. 1969.)


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