Volume 17 - Article 2 | Pages 23–58

Attitudes towards abortion and contraception in rural and urban Burkina Faso

By Clémentine Rossier

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Date received:08 Jan 2007
Date published:26 Jul 2007
Word count:9109
Keywords:abortion, abstinence, Africa, attitudes, Burkina Faso, contraceptive use, culture, meanings, practices, representations, rural areas, sexuality, social change, urban areas


Using results from the ethnographic literature and two qualitative studies on people’s representations of different means of birth control (abstinence, contraception, abortion) in two populations in Burkina Faso (one rural and one urban), we designed a multi-dimensional quantitative scale to measure individuals’ attitudes towards varied means of birth control. We applied it in two representative surveys in rural and urban Burkina Faso.
Relating individuals’ attitudes towards birth control to their socio-demographic characteristics and to their attitudes towards other life dimensions, and applying N. Elias’ theory of the civilization process, we seek to explain why abortion is less tolerated, while more widely practiced, in the city than in the villages.

Author's Affiliation

Clémentine Rossier - Université de Genève, Switzerland [Email]

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