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Saúde e Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1290versão On-line ISSN 1984-0470


CABRAL, Cristiane da Silva. Interconnections between contraception, sexuality, and gender relations. Saude soc. [online]. 2017, vol.26, n.4, pp.1093-1104. ISSN 1984-0470.

This paper proposes a social-anthropological approach to discuss (still) burning issues around contraception, especially in the Brazilian context. Contraceptive practices embrace a wide range of decisions and complex perspectives intertwined in multiples life domains, requiring analysis about practices and representations on contraception, motherhood, conjugality, family, pleasure and sexuality, not forgetting the consideration of crucial material aspects as the contraceptive supply (availability of services and methods). Some sociological and anthropological contributions are revisited, since they provide interpretation keys to comprehend female contraceptives paths and enable the discussion about the decision-making processes associated to contraception. The article problematizes the simplistic equation which links unexpected pregnancy to the lack of information and/or proper access to contraception methods, or to an alleged and strict rationality and/or individual responsibility towards contraceptive life - this is a still hegemonic pattern in disciplinary fields such as Public Health and Demography. The presented considerations emphasize the urge to ponder biographical, contextual and cultural mediations and gender imbalance underlying a reproductive event. This kind of analysis enables to bring sexuality into discussion, and its relation with the ways people deal with contraception and reproduction. This is a theoretical article that aims to contribute to the debate about contraceptive culture in Brazil.

Palavras-chave : Contraception; Gender; Sexuality; Unexpected Pregnancy; Contraceptive Methods; Reproduction.

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