Planning a Puerto Rican family in New York: Symbolic violence and reproductive decision-making in the Planned Parenthood film La Sortija de Compromiso (1965) | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918


This article examines the Planned Parenthood film La Sortija de Compromiso (1965) as advertisement for family planning among Puerto Rican migrants in New York. The film presents a normative narrative of reproductive decision-making and shows how family planning became an integral part of the 1960s US-American symbolic order. It was produced within the context of debates about overpopulation, poverty and family planning initiatives in Puerto Rico as well as scares about global overpopulation and an increasing Latino immigration in the United States. First, the article discusses how the film presents family planning as a path to affluence for migrant families. Then, it analyses the concepts of masculinity that are presented in the film and that associate Puerto Rico with a pre-modern rural setting and US-American family norms with modernity. Third, it examines how the film addresses the transcultural setting of Puerto Rican migrant families by negotiating different attitudes to women’s work, decision-making within marriage and networks to obtain reproductive knowledge. The article concludes that the film advertises family planning as a universal concept and a path towards affluence. Thus, it presents poverty as a result of individual choice and obscures the debates about overpopulation and eugenics in which it was conceived.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error