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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Kristine Hopkins

Other faculty Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Kristine Hopkins



Kristine Hopkins' research focuses on reproductive health issues in Texas, the US-Mexico border, and Latin America. Her current project is the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, a 5-year study to evaluate the impact of reproductive health policies enacted by the 2011 and 2013 Texas Legislatures.  She also studies the impact of contraceptive availability among Mexican origin women on the US-Mexico border and the determinants of teen pregnancy in Texas. Previous work focused on the overuse of cesarean section in Brazil and Mexico, the childbirth and contraceptive experiences of HIV-positive women in Brazil, and the demand for sterilization among seropositive and seronegative women in Brazil.

She co-produced the documentary Born in Brazil (Nascendo no Brasil in Portuguese), which was based on her dissertation research in Porto Alegre and Natal, Brazil. Born in Brazil shows Brazilian women's childbirth experiences in a country with cesarean rates of over 25 percent in the public sector and 70 percent in the private sector. The film challenges assumptions that women want to deliver surgically and shows the incentives for doctors to perform them. Born in Brazil was shown on Brazilian public television as well as at film festivals and conferences in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.

Hopkins teaches courses on health, reproduction, and demography.  In Spring 2015, she will teach the Sociology of Health & Illness and Women's Reproductive Health for NonScience Majors.


Reproductive health issues in Texas, the U.S.-Mexico border, and Latin America


"Oral Contraceptive Use on the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Qualitative Study." R03 HD047507

Women in many countries can purchase OCs over-the-counter (OTC) but in the US a prescription is required, potentially creating a barrier to contraceptive access. This qualitative study in El Paso, Texas, provides a unique "natural experiment":  residents can take advantage of the differing medical practices on either side of the border and obtain oral contraceptives either with or without clinician involvement.

This study seeks to produce an in-depth understanding of the contraceptive experiences of low-income Mexican-origin women who live on the US-Mexico border and answers:

  • how they experience and negotiate health services;
  • how and why they make decisions about where to obtain their pills;
  • where and to whom they turn when something goes wrong;
  • how their partners and close family members support or hinder their pill use;
  • attitudes about the timing of childbearing and marital relationships.

Below are the in-depth interview guides used in the study.  Includes guides done at enrollment and those done approximately 1 year later.  Each second round in-depth interview was tailored to the participant's specific situation so I provide two examples below.  Feel free to contact me for more examples.

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