Women's health is influenced not only by behavior and culture, but also by the social, economic and political contexts in which women live. We examine the changing context of women's reproductive health in New York City through an analysis of spatial and temporal trends in low birthweight during the late 1970s and 1980s. Using cartographic and statistical methods, the impacts of political and economic restructuring on women's lives and the linkages with changing patterns of women's reproductive health are addressed. The results show that in the city's low status neighborhoods, increases in low birthweight were related to the decline in women's ability to find paid employment, their decreased utilization of prenatal care, and an increased share of households headed by women. The shifting geographical patterns of reproductive health reflect, in part, women's heightened responsibilities in an era of shrinking resources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science