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Family planning in St Vincent, West Indies: A population history perspective


  • Gearing, Jean


St Vincent's population history, first as a slave society, then, after Emancipation, as a migration-oriented society, has strongly influenced cultural attitudes towards sexuality and fertility. In contemporary St Vincent, sexual activity and procreative ability are highly valued and linked to social status for both men and women. This paper assesses historical and contemporary factors influencing population dynamics in St Vincent, West Indies, and Vincentians' reactions to programs developed to curb population growth. The efforts of private and government programs to introduce family planning and change pronatalist attitudes are evaluated for their cultural appropriateness. Shifting migration patterns and modernization are also affecting gender roles, the social and economic value of children, and the acceptability of contraception to contribute to recent fertility declines.

Suggested Citation

  • Gearing, Jean, 1992. "Family planning in St Vincent, West Indies: A population history perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1273-1282, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:35:y:1992:i:10:p:1273-1282

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