, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 421-434

Contraceptive use in South Africa under apartheid

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In this paper, patterns of contraceptive use among black South African women in the late 1980s are examined. Multilevel logit models are used to evaluate the extent to which segregation of the African population into homelands gave rise to uneven patterns of contraceptive use; how this pattern was shaped by variations in family-planning acceptability; and the way in which the system of male labor migration and social and economic inequities across communities affected women's use of contraceptives. Results show that variation in contraceptive use across homeland areas diminished with the addition of community controls for development and migration. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity indicated that localized conditions could offset the advantages or disadvantages of living in a former homeland.

This research was supported by an International Predissertation Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies with funds provided by the Ford Foundation. Further assistance from the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies and the International Institute, University of Michigan, is gratefully acknowledged. An early version of this paper was presented at the 1996 annual meeting of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, LA. I am indebted to John Casterline, Ian Diamond, Mark Montgomery, Fiona Steele, and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on early drafts.