Childless: No Choice: The Experience of Involuntary by James H. Monach

By James H. Monach

Examines the factors of childlessness, the supply of decisions for and at a time of swiftly constructing remedies for infertility and new legislative controls, appears to be like on the reports and perspectives of childless undefined.

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Additional info for Childless: No Choice: The Experience of Involuntary Childlessness

Sample text

The danger is that they are used to construct a residual etiological category, which indiscriminately conflates cause and effect. IMPACT OF CHILDLESSNESS Such literature as is available, however, testifies to the extreme distress caused to the individual and couple concerned, and the tension brought about for their relationships. In most cases, it might be fair to say, this distress is portrayed as very painful, but survivable. Personal accounts A rich source of such material lies in fiction and autobiographical accounts.

It is frequently observed that there are persistent pressures to encourage people to have children: our society is pronatalist. As has been observed elsewhere, it is only possible to understand the experiences of the childless if these pressures are clearly understood. This chapter will consider these attitudes as they appear to influence the involuntarily childless, and the ways in which they experience their situation. This discussion will be used to place these feelings in their context, and offer some insight into the distress and sense of difference which childless couples will describe in the results of this study.

However, the importance of these factors in causing infertility is much less clear. The literature suggesting an etiological role for personality or emotional factors has to rely on data gleaned from those who have already identified themselves as having a fertility problem, and have been referred for specialist investigation. Consequently, such studies are vulnerable to charges of claiming as causative those experiences which are, in reality, reactive to the stressful situation of infertility: the chicken or egg problem.

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