Dr Rachel Scott
MSc Programme Director
My research reflects my interdisciplinary background, drawing from demography, epidemiology, sociology and public health and using quantitative and qualitative methods. My work considers how social-contextual factors, locally and cross-nationally, shape individual sexual and reproductive behaviours, particularly abortion and young people’s experiences, and how reproductive health service provision can best meet people’s needs and preferences. I also work on improving data quality and measurement of sexual behaviour and reproductive health outcomes, including abortion, in surveys.
I joined LSHTM in 2009 to do a Masters in Demography & Health after a BSc in Human Sciences at UCL. Following a couple of years away, working at Inserm (the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research), in Paris and King's College London, working on two abortion related projects, I returned to LSHTM in 2012 to pursue a PhD in the Department of Population Health, during which I also spent time back at Inserm and working with the Guttmacher Institute in New York.
I am co-Programme Director for the online MSc in Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy & Programming.
I teach on the MSc modules Foundations in Reproductive Health; Sexual Health; Research Design and Analysis; and Safe Abortion Policy & Programming.
My two most recent projects are the Global Study of Sexual Behaviour, a project that brought together representative survey data from over 60 countries worldwide to examine variation across settings and over time, and the SACHA Study, a large collaborative project that seeks to generate an evidence base to inform how abortion care can best be provided in Britain. On SACHA I co-led a work-package looking into how abortion is provided, and regulated, in other countries, and the lessons that can be learned for Britain, as well as working on the qualitative arm of the project which investigated the views and preferences of people with recent experience of abortion in Britain.
Previous projects have focussed mainly on young people and sexual and reproductive health, using qualitative and quantitive approaches. These include analyses of underreporting of abortions in surveys in the UK, US and France, a review of young people's engagement with pornography and digital intimacies, a qualitative study exploring young women's experiences of contraception and conceptualisations of pregnancy scares in England, a trial of post-abortion contraceptive counselling in England, and a qualitative study on representations of abortion in West Africa.