Pronatalism embodies the belief that a woman's social value is linked to her production of biological children (C. Morell, 2000). Conceiving and bearing children is literally impossible, however, for some of the 5 million women in the United States who struggle with infertility. Women negotiate their experiences with infertility within a pronatalist society, yet their experiences therein have been given little attention. Thus, the purpose of this research was to explore women's lived experiences with infertility in a pronatalist ideology. Active interviews with 32 participants who had experienced infertility revealed that the women were aware of a pronatalist ideology, which was manifested through insensitive comments or questions and unsolicited advice. The women responded by immersing themselves in their work, leisure activities/experiences, or support groups. The findings illustrate how pronatalist ideology is manifest in social interactions, but they also suggest how it may be resisted.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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