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dc.contributor.advisorBering, Jesse
dc.contributor.authorHarcourt, Emma Jane Armstrong
dc.date.available2017-07-14T02:57:47Z
dc.date.copyright2017
dc.identifier.citationHarcourt, E. J. A. (2017). The Affect of Language on Attitudes Towards Levonorgestrel-based Emergency Contraception (Thesis, Master of Science Communication). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/7471en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/7471
dc.description.abstractGlobally, there is at least one registered form of emergency or post-coital contraception registered in 146 countries, with a further 22 countries importing emergency contraceptive products. By far the most commonly accessed emergency contraceptive, levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception (LNGEC) features in the essential medicines list (EML) of 62 countries, out of a total of 118 countries with publicly available EMLs. LNG-EC is a safe and effective way of preventing an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse has occurred. The current consensus is that LNG-EC works primarily through the suppression of ovulation and thus prevents the fusion of sperm and ovum (fertilisation). It is unlikely that LNG-EC acts after fertilisation and it cannot harm an established pregnancy. However, the information presented to the public frequently implies that LNG-EC can impair the implantation process, wherein a blastocyst attaches to the wall of the uterus. This post-fertilisation action is morally unacceptable to many. My work concerns how the language used to describe how LNG-EC prevents a pregnancy effects attitudes towards the medication. There are prevalent misconceptions of how the medication acts and the effect that access to LNG-EC has on sexual behaviour, such as that it may harm an early embryo or that access to the medication encourages riskier sexual practices. I conducted a small pilot study and an experiment to examine how the language used to describe the mechanism through which LNG-EC acts to prevent pregnancy influences attitudes towards the medications. I found that, although the priming text did not influence attitudes towards LNGEC, frequency of religious service attendance was very strongly correlated with both attitudes towards the medication and with support for access to the medication. Specifically, that more frequent religious service attendance was positively correlated with negative attitudes towards LNG-EC and negatively correlated with support for access to LNG-EC. The second half of this manuscript fulfils the creative component requirement for the Master’s of Science Communication degree and takes the form of a creative non-fiction novella. While the academic thesis is intended as a serious scientific argument and contribution to the literature surrounding emergency contraception, the creative half of the manuscript is intended as a humorous work to be read for enjoyment as well as enlightenment. Although the creative component was undoubtedly more fun to research and write, it required just as much hard work and diligence as the academic component did. And, although the tone is light-hearted and funny, purpose of the creative component was the same as that of the academic thesis: to dispel myths and shed light upon murky areas of knowledge.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectEmergency contraception
dc.subjectEmergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)
dc.subjectContraceptive behaviour
dc.subjectMisinformation
dc.subjectContraception
dc.subjectSexual health
dc.subjectSexual behaviour
dc.subjectAbortion
dc.subjectReproductive healthcare debate
dc.subjectAlternative facts
dc.titleThe Affect of Language on Attitudes Towards Levonorgestrel-based Emergency Contraception
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2017-07-14T02:25:30Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineCentre for Science Communication
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science Communication
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
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