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Perspectives Turns 50

With the start of 2018, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health reaches a major milestone: the beginning of its 50th year of publication. Much has changed since the journal, originally called Family Planning Perspectives, debuted in the spring of 1969 as part of a broad effort to ensure that all Americans—particularly poor women—have access to comprehensive family planning care. Over time, the family planning field expanded its scope in response to such developments as the emergence of AIDS and the growing recognition that heterosexual women are not the only people who need contraceptive and related services. As the field changed, so did the journal. It opened itself to a wider range of topics and adopted a new title. And it began featuring quantitative studies whose increasingly complex statistical approaches allow for finer grained analyses than were possible in the early years, and qualitative research that helps to elucidate the “real world” experiences underlying the numbers. What never changed, though, was the journal’s commitment—articulated in a mission statement, of sorts, that appeared in its first issue—to distinguishing itself from other professional journals by taking a multidisciplinary approach and reporting on “pragmatic experience,” rather than “abstract theory.”

The editors are proud to be celebrating the journal’s golden anniversary year in [email protected], which will revisit and, well, put in perspective archival materials that we consider highlights of its historythe kinds of pieces that have made Perspectives what it is and have given it staying power. And although we feel that it goes without saying, we’ll say anyway that nothing about Perspectives would have been possible without the hard work, great skill and enormous dedication of dozens of editors, production people and communications experts over the years. This anniversary year and [email protected] celebrate them all.

 

Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Family Planning Perspectives may be accessed through Wiley Online Library (2003–) and JSTOR (1969–2011).

Cover illustrations of Margaret Sanger © Matthew and Eve Levine