Varieties of reproduction regimes: institutions, norms and social inequality
The research group funded through the DFG Emmy-Noether-Programme seeks to understand the interplay of policies regulating reproduction, inequalities and norms from a comparative perspective. Reproduction is understood as processes around planning, avoiding, starting, carrying or ending pregnancy and procreation. Our research pays particular attention to the role of policies and regulations to a) shape patterns of reproduction in the life course differentially across social groups, and b) affect norms around reproduction and family. Three main questions will be addressed in comparative perspective:
What are typical patterns of how reproduction is regulated across high-income countries?
How is stratified reproduction associated with the institutional settings?
What are the associations between regulating reproduction and attitudes towards gender, sexuality and family in the population?
These questions will be addressed with theoretically informed comparative analyses, using a variety of methods and international data sources as well as the International Reproduction Policy Database (IRPD), a new database of reproduction policies that is built in the project. The project is unique in looking at institutional configurations of ‘classical’ instruments like abortion legislation, sex education and contraception policy alongside ‘new’ regulations like for medically assisted reproduction. We examine how institutional settings reduce stratified reproduction by providing policies that secure reproductive rights or how they cement existing inequalities based on sexuality, gender, class and ethnicity. The project takes a longitudinal perspective, allowing to study how inequalities unfold in reproduction regimes, where regulations lead to more tolerant attitudes and where they spawn a normative backlash.
Start date of the group is April 2022.