New Academic Paper “Shining a light on Reproductive Coercion White Paper” includes references to religious coercion and Jehovah’s Witnesses

by jwleaks 9 Replies latest social current

  • jwleaks

    Shining a light on Reproductive Coercion White Paper

    “The Jehovah’s Witness religion I grew up in made me feel immense pressure to maintain my virginity. I dreaded the prospect of being trapped by a lifelong commitment to a husband in a community that would dictate what we did in the bedroom and I started to realise that I did not belong because I didn’t want to be married or have children in that stifling community.” – Ella, Victoria, Australia

    Reproductive Coercion is a hidden form of violence and control that can have life altering consequences.

    Reproductive coercion is behaviour that deliberately prevents a person from making decisions about their reproductive health. It includes:

    • contraceptive sabotage including “stealthing”
    • Pressuring another person into pregnancy
    • Forcing a person to have an abortion or continue a pregnancy
    • Forcing a person into sterilisation.

    When recalling her experience of life in a high control Jehovah’s Witness community, Ella highlighted that women in particular not only experience reproductive coercion driven by the culture of the community*, there are also economic drivers that perpetuate and compound reproductive coercion. Ella outlined that decisions of when to start and end reproduction rests with the typically male provider as the woman is expected to be silent or “in subjection”. Ella describes how lack of income, coupled with lack of control over one’s own body results in fear, obligation and guilt and increases reliance on the public health system. In her recovery, she needed psychological counselling, visits to specialist physiotherapists to relax her shallow breathing and to women’s hospitals for a vulva disorder caused by hyper-contraction.

    Ella’s full story as a female raised within the Jehovah’s Witnesses is found on pages 49-51 of the White Paper. See link below:

  • tiki

    Poor is true though. I can relate...although not as extreme as ella's responses......

  • steve2

    I'd imagine there'd be plenty of other religious groups to which this would apply: Hindus, Moslems, fundamentalist Christians and even some Jewish groups.

  • Diogenesister

    They also tried to dictate that couples NOT have children for years.

    I shallow breathe and hold my breath still. Also suffered from vaginismus, wonder whether triggered by guilt??

  • Vidiot

    I have an ugly theory about why patriarchal systems have proliferated so strongly throughout history, and it does tie indirectly to reproductive coercion.

  • smiddy3

    With that link jwleaks provided their is an interesting video "The role of women in Jehovah`s Witnesses"

    Well worth a watch it goes for about 15 min.

  • smiddy3

    An interesting point is made about Deborah a Prophetess and Judge of Israel for fourty years with Jehovah Gods blessing.

  • Vidiot
    smiddy3 - "An interesting point is made about Deborah a Prophetess and Judge of Israel for forty years with Jehovah Gods blessing."

    Yeah, ever notice how ultraconservative religions almost never mention this? :smirk:

  • I Faded Twice
    I Faded Twice

    I remember girls in the hall in my later teenage years that their mothers would not allow tampons. It was pass only because it would break the cherry. They had to save it for their husbands.

    I shit you not!

    The reason it came up was because of swimming.

  • Vidiot

    Jeezus, that's like the hadrcore Religious Right ranting about HPV vaccinations a few years back because they were afraid that without the fear of STDs, teenage girls would turn into raging sexbots or something.

    Say... I wonder if that attitude has a connection with today's anti-vaxxers...

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