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How do women shape and evaluate their lives today and what role does family planning play in their lives? These questions are the focus of this investigation on women’s reproductive life stories. More than 1,400 women between the ages of 20 and 44 were surveyed between 1998 and 1999.

“Family planning is more than just contraception”

The research design assumes a comprehensive definition of family planning in terms of life planning. This covers aspects such as relationships, sexuality and unwanted childlessness as well as how planned and unplanned pregnancies are dealt with, pregnancy terminations, births and experiences with parenthood.

The high goal of capturing both the subjective and retrospective perspective of women as well as socio-spatial and milieu-specific differences requires the collaboration of family-sociological and demographical perspectives. In addition the study incorporates psychological and cultural scientific insights. With this comprehensive research approach the study closes a gap, because previous investigations dealt almost exclusively with the medical side of the phenomenon of family planning.