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Conclusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2023

Mary E. Daly
Affiliation:
University College Dublin
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Summary

Central to the history of family planning in Ireland is the interaction between religious observance and expressions of Irishness, and how that changed in response to domestic political and socio-economic developments, and international forces. An Irish identity imagined around rural living, Catholicism, large families, traditional gender roles, and sexual puritanism, combined with a belief that Ireland could withstand the changes that were underway in twentieth-century western society in relation to sexual behaviour – drove the sustained hostility to legalising contraception. The 1980s was the decade when it became evident that the tide had turned. The number of married women in the workforce rose significantly, and fertility fell sharply. By the early 1990s Irish fertility was still the highest in Europe, but only by a small margin, and it was lower than in the United States. And yet the decline of this imagined Irishness was not unopposed; indeed, many lamented its passing. it is significant that the moral legislation enacted in the first decades after independence survived until the closing decades of the twentieth century, which might suggest that Ireland was exceptional.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Conclusion
  • Mary E. Daly, University College Dublin
  • Book: The Battle to Control Female Fertility in Modern Ireland
  • Online publication: 11 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314886.009
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  • Conclusion
  • Mary E. Daly, University College Dublin
  • Book: The Battle to Control Female Fertility in Modern Ireland
  • Online publication: 11 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314886.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conclusion
  • Mary E. Daly, University College Dublin
  • Book: The Battle to Control Female Fertility in Modern Ireland
  • Online publication: 11 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009314886.009
Available formats
×