The feminisation of contraceptive use: Australian women's accounts of accessing contraception

Wigginton, Britta, Harris, Melissa L., Loxton, Deborah, Herbert, Danielle and Lucke, Jayne (2015) The feminisation of contraceptive use: Australian women's accounts of accessing contraception. Feminism & Psychology, 25 2: 178-198. doi:10.1177/0959353514562802

Author Wigginton, Britta
Harris, Melissa L.
Loxton, Deborah
Herbert, Danielle
Lucke, Jayne
Title The feminisation of contraceptive use: Australian women's accounts of accessing contraception
Journal name Feminism & Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-3535
Publication date 2015-05
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0959353514562802
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 25
Issue 2
Start page 178
End page 198
Total pages 21
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publicaitons
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract The oral contraceptive pill remains the most widely used contraceptive method. We consider The Pill’s depiction as variously revolutionary and liberating, oppressive for women, and more recently, a ‘lifestyle drug’. Drawing on discourses of (hetero)sex, heterosexuality and gender performance, we discuss how contraceptive use has been feminised and consider the current gap in understanding how women negotiate their positioning as responsible for contraception. To begin to fill this gap, we conducted a thematic discourse analysis using 75 free-text responses (to a general question in a wider contraceptive survey) to explore how women account for their agency and responsibility in discussions of accessing contraception. We identified two themes: responsibility for education and information and ‘finding contraceptive fit’. Women’s discussions of responsibility for education and information highlight the need for transparency from educational bodies, which are positioned as lacking in their delivery of contraceptive information. Women describe “finding contraceptive fit” as an embodied process of experimentation with contraception to ultimately find one with minimal negative side effects. We situate our findings within critiques of the gendered nature and production of health, conceptualising contraceptive use as a distinctly feminine practice, which promotes self-surveillance and embodied awareness.
Keyword Contraception
Contraceptive use
Thematic discourse analysis
Side effects
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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