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J Health Soc Behav. 2011 Dec;52(4):493-509. doi: 10.1177/0022146511418236. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Race-ethnicity and medical services for infertility: stratified reproduction in a population-based sample of U.S. women.

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Social Sciences Department, Alfred University, Alfred, NY 14802, USA.


Evidence of group differences in reproductive control and access to reproductive health care suggests the continued existence of "stratified reproduction" in the United States. Women of color are overrepresented among people with infertility but are underrepresented among those who receive medical services. The authors employ path analysis to uncover mechanisms accounting for these differences among black, Hispanic, Asian, and non-Hispanic white women using a probability-based sample of 2,162 U.S. women. Black and Hispanic women are less likely to receive services than other women. The enabling conditions of income, education, and private insurance partially mediate the relationship between race-ethnicity and receipt of services but do not fully account for the association at all levels of service. For black and Hispanic women, social cues, enabling conditions, and predisposing conditions contribute to disparities in receipt of services. Most of the association between race-ethnicity and service receipt is indirect rather than direct.

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