This paper is based on qualitative research which found that the contraceptive pill had achieved a "hegemonic status" among some British women in their thirties. In addition, despite the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, the idea of using condoms was very unpopular, and the research suggests that this is linked to a reluctance to rely on male cooperation over contraception. This paper will further argue that the women generally chose methods that they felt would be in their own best interests, and were often exercising considerable agency within the constraints of their relationships. Moreover, by accepting the responsibility for contraception, the women not only gained sole control over their fertility, but contraception may be an area within heterosexuality where women can exercise power.
- contraceptive pill
- British women
- sexually transmitted diseases