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Title: Controlling Bodies: Media Messaging to Hispanic Women About Contraception in the United States
Authors: Kuk, Katie
Advisors: Legnani, Nicole
Department: Spanish and Portuguese
Certificate Program: Global Health and Health Policy Program
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: From the compulsory sterilization laws passed by more than 30 states during the early 20th century, to the research trials for the earliest versions of the oral contraceptive pill in Puerto Rico in 1955, to the reduction of prison sentences for female inmates who agreed to receive the birth control implant in Tennessee in 2017, violation of female reproductive rights has a fraught story in the United States. Motivated by these stories, this thesis examines media messaging to Hispanic women about contraception. It explores the distinct ways in which media platforms are framing different contraceptive methods to Hispanic women, and how such presentations may contrast with the framing of the same methods when addressing the general American female population. To do this, I examine three forms of media—women’s magazines, advertisements, and informational videos—comparing and contrasting the content presented in English with the content presented in Spanish. My analysis reveals that there is a significant lack of accurate and comprehensive content available about contraception, as well as about women’s reproductive health more broadly. It also reveals a framing of the bodies of Hispanic women as those in need of more guidance and control, contrasted with the framing of the English-speaking woman as an active agent who is encouraged to take the initiative in considering and critically evaluating all of the contraceptive options available to her. These findings, in turn, point to the potential ways through which dominant ideologies may be exerting their influence on Hispanic women and their contraceptive decision-making processes.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese, 2002-2022
Global Health and Health Policy Program, 2017-2022

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