In an article I wrote for Quillette a few years back, I discussed the high rates of infant and child mortality across societies throughout human history, before industrialization and the rise of more effective antiseptics and sanitation systems reduced these rates substantially. “
I hope I’m not getting this horribly wrong, it seems abortion wasn’t recognized as a good thing, but as a necessary evil that remains an option at times, at the discretion of the women in the community. It wasn’t something to celebrate. While there is a flavor of “women’s prerogative” present, I’d expect that a woman who had multiple abortions (assuming modern safety, not tree limbs and poisons) would run afoul of the other women in the group/deep social strain.
I’d be really interested to know more about male policing of male sexuality in these societies. I would expect that if a young man was doing “too much” the other men would have a problem with that (even assuming he’s not sleeping with married women). Also, if a man is known to be the father of a woman who is having an abortion (unmarried) does the man acquire negative stigma? From the men? From the women? It sounds like the men don’t ‘know’ about the abortions (or refuse to admit they know), so perhaps just negative toward the ‘father’ from the women?
If you’ve got any suggested readings/keywords for looking into this I’d appreciate hearing! Im still in undergrad/quite new.
> Colonial contact likely also increased abortion among the Ainu, with the rise of encounters with foreign men seeking to solicit prostitution.
This seems to imply colonial contact with the Ainu began in the late 19th century century or roughly there (as that's when the reports are from). This is true for Europeans who first established a permanent presence on the island in the mid-19th century. (Though European traders had been there earlier.)
But this implicitly excludes the colonial relationship the Japanese or Chinese/Mongols/Manchus developed with the Ainu, including on Sakhalin. If this is on purpose then what was the difference?
It just struck me that this statement equates "colonial" with "European." But that is not my impression of the Ainu experience. Nor is it my impression that the Chinese or Japanese were not having sexual contact with local women.