Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Conceptual Re-evaluation of Reproductive Coercion: Centring Intent, Fear and Control

Version 1 : Received: 11 September 2020 / Approved: 13 September 2020 / Online: 13 September 2020 (12:00:14 CEST)

How to cite: Tarzia, L.; Hegarty, K. A Conceptual Re-evaluation of Reproductive Coercion: Centring Intent, Fear and Control. Preprints 2020, 2020090282 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0282.v1). Tarzia, L.; Hegarty, K. A Conceptual Re-evaluation of Reproductive Coercion: Centring Intent, Fear and Control. Preprints 2020, 2020090282 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0282.v1).

Abstract

Background: Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) is a hidden form of violence against women. It includes behaviours intended to control or dictate a woman’s reproductive autonomy, for the purpose of either preventing or promoting pregnancy. Main text: In this commentary, we argue that there is a lack of conceptual clarity around RCA that is a barrier to developing a robust evidence base. Furthermore, we suggest that there is a poor understanding of the way that RCA intersects with other types of violence (intimate partner violence; sexual violence) and – as a result – inconsistent definition and measurement in research and practice. To address this, we propose a new way of understanding RCA that centres perpetrator intent and the presence of fear and control. Recommendations for future research are also discussed. Conclusion: We suggest that IPV and SV are the mechanisms through which RCA is perpetrated. In other words, RCA cannot exist without some other form of co-occurring violence in a relationship. This has important implications for research, policy and practice including for screening and identification of women in reproductive healthcare settings.

Subject Areas

reproductive coercion; intimate partner violence; sexual violence; reproductive autonomy; women; family violence

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