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Institute for Social Research pres.

Social Exposure Infectious Diseases: Zika, Covid-19 and the Context of Fertility

Letícia J. Marteleto (The University of Texas at Austin)

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Abstract: Brazil is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Brazil is also the country most affected by the recent Zika epidemic and is an epicenter of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In this talk, I will introduce DeCodE, funded by NICHD, and the first panel survey on fertility and reproductive health in Brazil, tracking women’s childbearing intentions, desires and outcomes during the Zika and Covid-19 public health emergencies. Combining analysis from in-depth interviews and baseline survey data collected in April-September 2020, this talk will uncover women’s social and reproductive vulnerabilities during the pandemic. Results show that inequities are exacerbated and that women socially exposed to Zika during the epidemic intend to postpone and forego childbearing. Overall findings suggest that there are clear spillover effects across successive novel infectious disease emergencies that are relevant in every country Zika and Covid-19 have touched.

Bio: Letícia Marteleto is a social scientist with expertise in social demography, social stratification and reproductive health. Marteleto’s scholarship examines inequalities in fertility, reproductive processes and educational attainment, among others. Marteleto’s research has been funded by several foundations. She is currently the PI of DeCodE, funded by NICHD, and the first panel survey on reproductive health in Brazil, tracking women’s fertility desires, intentions and outcomes during the Zika and Covid-19 public health crises. Marteleto’s work has appeared in flagship journals in sociology, demography and other disciplines, such as Demography, Population and Development Review and Social Forces. Professor Marteleto holds a PhD in Sociology from The University of Michigan and is currently Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.


Population Studies Center (PSC) Brown Bag seminars highlight recent research in population studies and serve as a focal point for building our research community.

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January 25, 2021 (Monday) 12:00pm
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