Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Reader 1

Nayana Bose

Reader 2

Jih-Fei Cheng

Reader 3

Piya Chatterjee

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2019 Nishara T Gunasekara


This paper assesses how women of different racial backgrounds and their contraceptive method choices impact their economic well-being. While there is extensive literature on the impact of contraceptive use and women’s economic outcomes, there is less concerning women’s contraceptive method choice and their economic outcomes. However, birth control is only as effective at supporting women’s economic advancement as it is effective at preventing unintended pregnancy. Given a legacy of reproductive and economic disempowerment, Women of Color in the United States have unevenly reaped the economic benefits of contraception. Therefore, it is important to look at how race and contraceptive method choice may factor into women’s economic health. In this paper, I define women’s economic well-being in terms of human capital, through the lens of educational attainment, and income. Further, I stratify contraceptive methods into three categories: high, medium, and low, based on the method’s effectiveness rate and user maintenance requirements. Using a Simple Linear Regression Model, I find that medium forms of birth control have the greatest impact on educational attainment and earnings for both White women and Women of Color.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.