In a paper titled “More Than a Physical Burden: Women’s Mental and Emotional Work in Preventing Pregnancy,” sociologist Katrina Kimport — who works as an associate professor at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco — documented the way that women are tasked with the majority of physical work required to prevent pregnancy and also expected to do most of the emotional and mental labor as well.
“While the biotechnological landscape of available methods may explain the assignment of the physical burden for contraception to women,” Kimport wrote, “this does not mean the concomitant time, attention, and stress that preventing pregnancy requires must also be primarily assumed by women.”
But when it comes to the American health care system, Kimport found, there’s a widespread assumption that dealing with contraception is women’s work, and men are often shut out of the conversation. Kimport went to six family planning clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area and recorded conversations with 52 women, who all wanted to not have more children.
Women get pregnant, men don’t. Who would we expect to carry that burden of contraception then?