The Impact of Unequal Gender Relations on the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Low-Income Young Women and Men in Three Brazilian Cities

Alessandra S. Chacham, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais
André Caetano, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais
Andrea B. Simão, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)

Here we investigated how unequal gender relations reduces young women's autonomy and shape their sexual and reproductive trajectories thus affecting their reproductive health. In our analysis we used data from a survey with a sample of 450 young women and 300 young men between 15 and 29 years of age from low income households in three different cities of Minas Gerais, a state in southeast Brazil. We analyzed how lower levels of autonomy among young women including control over their sexuality and the presence of controlling behavior and violence from a partner expose them to unplanned pregnancies and STIs. Young men who presented violent and/or controlling behavior towards a partner were also less likely to use condoms regularly and more likely to have gotten a partner pregnant during adolescence. Our results reinforce the importance of understanding the impact of gender inequality on men’s and women’s sexual and reproductive health.

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Presented in Session 8: Gender and Reproductive Health