The Roles of Body Surveillance, Feminist Beliefs, and Feminine Norm Adherence in Women's Reproductive Health Efficacy and Behavior
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While accessibility to reproductive health resources has increased for women, challenges related to sexual self-efficacy and contraceptive use remain prevalent. Factors including feminist beliefs, empowerment, and adherance to feminine norms have predicted positive and negative health behaviors, but less is known about how they relate to reproductive health, specifically sexual self-efficacy and contraceptive use. This study aimed to examine gender-relevant factors that predict sexual self-efficacy and contraceptive use, specifically, body surveillance, feminism, empowerment, and feminine norms. A survey consisting of these measures was administered to 247 women. Results showed empowerment was positively associated with both sexual self-efficacy and contraceptive use. The feminine norms of appearance, modesty, and sexual fidelity were negatively associated with sexual self-efficacy, while sexual fidelity was also negatively associated with contraceptive use. Findings highlight the importance of addressing the important roles of empowerment and feminine norms in women’s reproductive health beliefs and behaviors.