The Rapan Theory of Conception



People in Rapa, French Polynesia, attempt to limit their families by abstaining from intercourse during the time they think the woman is most likely to conceive. They have little success with this method of contraception, largely because they believe conception occurs during the three or four days immediately following menstruation. This placement of the fertile period is based on a theory of reproduction quite different from that currently prevailing in the West. The Rapan theory is explained, and other societies holding similar ideas concerning the fertile period are indicated.