WHY MORTALITY RATES MAY BE SO HIGH FOR BLACK BODIES IN BIRTH
WHAT IT IS:
No, we are not talking about the weather or climate change. We’re talking about the research by Sociologist Arline Geronimus on the weathering and aging of the reproductive system on pregnant bodies. This hypothesis by Geronimus explores how experiences of discrimination and racial inequality influence the ages safest for childbearing.
WHY IT MATTERS:
This affects the recommendation of “healthiest” ages to become pregnant.
Geronimus found that as a consequence of social exclusion, younger pregnancies in black bodies were safer- before a potential health deterioration occurs.
As a result of this hypothesis, it was concluded that black pregnant bodies were more likely to have a safer pregnancy and a healthier newborn at an earlier age - early 20’s, as a result of experiences of societal inequality. The pattern showed that as a pregnant black person aged, and their reproductive system “weathered” due to societal stressors, the higher the infant mortality rate.
On the other hand, for white pregnant bodies, data showed that they would experience safer pregnancies for both carrier and baby at a later age.
Outside stressors and experiences of inequality and discrimination can deeply impact our individual and collective health....as well as our future generations’.
- Geronimus' Research
- CYCLES+SEX Podcast Episode: RACE+REPRODUCTION w/ Kimberly Seals Allers
- Weathering Health Inequality, Huffington Post
By: Aleksandra Alfonso, FL