Thesis ID: CBB415950063

The Science of Family Planning: Mexico’s “Demographic Explosion,” Contraceptive Technologies, and the Power of Expert Knowledge (2024)


This dissertation delves into the history of contraception in twentieth-century Mexico by analyzing the technoscientific activities of local professionals who sought to promote fertility control at a time in which the state maintained a pronatalist policy. By examining the roles of doctors, eugenicists, economists, chemists, and demographers between the 1930s and 1970s, this dissertation argues that these experts contributed to the government’s shift in population policy in the 1970s. Drawing on various archival sources, including clinical reports, institutional records, correspondence, and published materials authored by doctors and social scientists, this study demonstrates how local professionals forged alliances with international donors and fostered interdisciplinary collaborations. All these initiatives allowed these experts to smuggle contraceptives, establish family planning clinics, and even conduct human trials with the birth control pill in Mexico. “The Science of Family Planning,” thus, underscores the complex interplay between state policies, expert interventions, and individual agency, contributing to broader discussions on reproductive rights, public health, and governance in Latin America.

Citation URI

This citation is part of the Isis database.

Similar Citations

Book Erika Dyck; Maureen Lux; (2020)
Challenging Choices: Canada's Population Control in the 1970s (/p/isis/citation/CBB928803182/) unapi

Article Aya Homei; (December 2016)
Between the West and Asia: “Humanistic” Japanese Family Planning in the Cold War (/p/isis/citation/CBB578327089/) unapi

Article Necochea López, Raúl; (2014)
Gambling on the Protestants: The Pathfinder Fund and Birth Control in Peru, 1958--1965 (/p/isis/citation/CBB001420185/) unapi

Article Alexandra Barmpouti; (2020)
Issues of biopolitics of reproduction in post-war Greece (/p/isis/citation/CBB602217086/) unapi

Article Jennifer Johnson; (2018)
The Origins of Family Planning in Tunisia: Reform, Public Health, and International Aid (/p/isis/citation/CBB662781842/) unapi

Article Hartmann, Heinrich; Unger, Corinna R.; (2010)
Einleitung: Zur transnationalen Wissensgeschichte der Demografie (/p/isis/citation/CBB001022031/) unapi

Article Thuy Linh Nguyen; (2018)
Overpopulation, Racial Degeneracy and Birth Control in French Colonial Vietnam (/p/isis/citation/CBB816275491/) unapi

Thesis Sujin Lee; (2017)
Problematizing Population: Politics of Birth Control and Eugenics in Interwar Japan (/p/isis/citation/CBB518032041/) unapi

Article Eric D. Carter; (2018)
Population control, public health, and development in mid twentieth century Latin America (/p/isis/citation/CBB665827693/) unapi

Book Emily Klancher Merchant; (2021)
Building the Population Bomb (/p/isis/citation/CBB050496119/) unapi

Article Susan Greenhalgh; (December 2016)
Cold War Population Science and Politics in Asia (/p/isis/citation/CBB930417533/) unapi

Article Löwy, Ilana; (2012)
Defusing the Population Bomb in the 1950s: Foam Tablets in India (/p/isis/citation/CBB001211284/) unapi

Book Prescott, Heather Munro; (2011)
The Morning After: A History of Emergency Contraception in the United States (/p/isis/citation/CBB001212465/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
DiMoia, John P.
Berg, Annika
Carter, Eric D.
Dyck, Erika
Greenhalgh, Susan
Hartmann, Heinrich
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Journal of Historical Geography
Cornell University
McGill-Queen's University Press
Oxford University Press
Rutgers University Press
Bensei Shuppan
Family planning
Population control
Birth control; contraception; sterilization
Demography; population research
Public health
Medicine and politics
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
17th century
18th century
19th century
East Asia
Population Council

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment