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Women's Reproductive Rights, Modernization, and Family Planning Programs in Developing Countries: A Causal Model

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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Ongoing debates on women's reproductive rights in world conferences and conventions have heightened the need for empirical research and theoretical explanations of women's reproductive rights. The study examines the effects of family planning programs and the processes of modernization on women's reproductive rights. The study involves 101 developing countries. Using linear structural equation analysis, the study finds that family planning programs reduce population growth. However, population decline does not influence women's reproductive rights. The most important determinant of reproductive rights is gender equality. Socioeconomic development has a positive effect on women's educational attainment, but is negatively related to gender equality. The direct effect of women's education on reproductive rights is negative. Theoretical and policy implications of the findings are presented.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, University of North Texas, Denton, 76203-1157, TX, U.S.A.; 2: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72204-1099, U.S.A.


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