Edited By Adela Elena Popa, Hasan Arslan, Mehmet Ali Icbay and Tomas Butvilas
Involuntary Childlessness: A Grounded Theory Approach For Developing a Model of Reproductive Health
Introduction Childlessness is the condition of being without children and may be voluntary or involuntary (Letherby, 2002). To be childless against one’s choice means to be involuntary childless which, unfortunately, has personal, socio-economic, and socio-cultural impacts in most societies in spite of the relationship between infertility and childlessness. Infertility is defined by Needleman (1987: 136) as “the inability to conceive a child after a year or more of unprotected intercourse” (cited in Lethebery, 1999) and is an important global health problem (Inhorn, 2003). Reviews of the literature by Hollos and Arsen (2008) and Inhorn (2003), based on stud- ies carried out in different countries’ rural and urban regions, have indicated that infertile women always express feelings related to stigma and motherhood. Some of this research (Donkor & Sandall, 2007; Hampshire, Blell & Simpson, 2012; Todorova & Koteva, 2003; Miall, 1986; 1994; Remennick, 2000; Lethebery, 1999; Whiteford & Gonalez, 1995) used a conceptual framework of stigma as described by Goffman (1963). Additionally, in Indian, American, Australian, Israeli, African, and other pronatalist societies, motherhood and parenthood are socially mandatory and childlessness or infertility are socially unacceptable (Hollos & Larsen, 2008; Inhorn, 1994; 2003; Remennick, 2000; Riessman, 2000). Within these societies, experiences of infertility are affected by gender, social class, age, ethnicity, rural or urban residence, education level, and other factors; therefore, suffering and disempowered childless women’s circumstances should be assessed in light of these factors (Donkor & Sandall, 2007; Hampshire, et al., 2012; Riessman, 2000; Van Balen, 2008). In most societies like that of Turkey, if women or...
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