Download e-book for iPad: Not Trying: Infertility, Childlessness, and Ambivalence by Kristin J. Wilson

By Kristin J. Wilson

One message that comes in addition to ever-improving fertility remedies and extending popularity of unmarried motherhood, older first-time moms, and same-sex partnerships, is that just about any girl can and may turn into a mom. The media and lots of experiences concentrate on infertile and involuntarily childless girls who're looking remedy. They symbolize this staff as nervous and prepared to aim something, even complicated and financially ruinous high-tech interventions, to accomplish a winning pregnancy.

But nearly all of ladies who fight with fertility stay away from therapy. the ladies whose interviews look in now not attempting belong to this majority. Their attitudes fluctuate and will switch as their existence conditions evolve. a few help the present cultural narrative that girls are supposed to be moms and refuse to determine themselves as childfree by way of selection. every one of these ladies, who come from a much wider diversity of social backgrounds than so much researchers have studied, event deep ambivalence approximately motherhood and non-motherhood, by no means really opting for both direction. they like to allow existence spread, an angle that turns out to minimize nervousness approximately now not conforming to social expectancies.

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Additional info for Not Trying: Infertility, Childlessness, and Ambivalence

Example text

The ever-expansive reach of medicalization, with the monitoring and manipulation of women’s procreative bodies in particular (Turner 1995 [1987]), however, reinscribes the old motherhood mandate with a new twist. Infertility, advancing age, or lack of a male partner need not stop a woman from making babies; there are always improving treatment options as well as alternatives like surrogacy and adoption. Marginalized women experience this pronatalism differently, depending on their positions, in ways both oppressive and surprisingly emancipatory.

Childlessness “just happened” for quite a few of the women. Other life events intervened and diverted their attention. Two of these women are close to menopause and have not yet ruled out pregnancy—and both are exploring adoption—but they differ from the never readies in that they appear to be willing to identify as nonmothers if adoption does not pan out. The infertile identified includes women who unsuccessfully tried to get pregnant and then pursued medical help. This interface with the medical industrial complex—with doctors, nurses, specialists, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, and counselors—medicalized them.

Even with cultural changes, suspicion persisted about the character and potential negative social impact of women who could make the choice not to have children (Blake 1979; Calhoun and Selby 1980; McAllister 1998; Miall 1994; Morell 1994, 2000). The phrase “choosing childless” makes it sound ( 24 ) NO T T RY I NG like women purposefully select that status. In fact, most childless women—even those who identify as voluntarily childless— do not. Many childless women can be described as “perpetual postponers,” who make several short-term decisions that affect delays in family building until the end of their fertile years (Bulcroft and Teachman 2004; Heaton et al.

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Not Trying: Infertility, Childlessness, and Ambivalence by Kristin J. Wilson


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