UCL Anthropology Working Papers Series
Department of Anthropology
University College London
14 Taviton Street, London
WC1H 0BW, U.K.
Editorial Board: Sara Randall, Martin Holbraad
Working Paper No. 01/2008
Published online November 27, 2008
© Copyright rests with the authors
MIGRATION AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The reproductive health of migrants is an increasingly important public health issue. A review of studies conducted in Europe, North America and Australia reveals numerous differences between migrant and host populations in terms of their experiences and attitudes towards fertility, infertility, breastfeeding, abortion, contraception and reproductive health services. This paper examines the extent to which such health disparities are a consequence of moving, the specific characteristics of those who move, the new environment in which they find themselves, or a combination of factors. It concludes that while the theories of assimilation, adaptation, selection and disruption provide some answers to questions concerning the relationship between migration and reproductive health, anthropological perspectives on reproduction can be used to develop a deeper understanding of the issues involved.