PMID: 5918709Sep 9, 1966

Use of oral contraception in the United States, 1965. In only 5 years oral contraception has become a major means of regulating fertility

N B Ryder, C F Westoff


This is the first report from the Na-tional Fertility Study, 1965, a survey of the reproductive behavior of a national sample of married women, under the age of 55, living with their husbands. The report presents basic data on the use of oral contraception by women under the age of 45, in relation to age, parity, education, race, and religion. The study leads to certain conclusions, as follows. Present, past, and prospective use vary inversely with the age of the woman and directly with the number of years of schooling; the majority of young women with college training have already used the oral contraceptive. Use by Negroes is somewhat less extensive than use by whites, particularly for ages below 25; some of this difference is explainable by concomitant racial differences in educational level. Negroes seem less likely than whites to use oral contraception for timing early births, and more likely, when they do use it, to be attempting to terminate their fertility. The same observation holds for white Catholics in relation to white non-Catholics. Although the extent of use may be lower among Catholics than non-Catholics, the proportion of Catholics who report use is substantial indeed in view of the persisting theological contr...Continue Reading

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