Edited By Adela Elena Popa, Hasan Arslan, Mehmet Ali Icbay and Tomas Butvilas
Women’s Experiences of Assisted Reproductive Technology Treatment: Reflections on the Professionals’ Attitudes and Their Relations with Women
Introduction: Background of the Research Feminist debates over the value and the meaning of new reproductive technolo- gies for women’s lives in terms of gender ideologies are deeply divided. Although this is one of the crucial issues for the understanding of the structure of patriarchal ideology and practices, there is also a need for an empirical study of women’s social and psychological experiences of the processes of infertility examination and treatment. Therefore, this research study was rather focused on the experi- ences of women who were ready to sacrifice everything and submitted to medical treatment in order to become biological mothers. The first aspect considered is to understand the social and cultural implications of motherhood. In most societies, motherhood and womanhood are strongly so- cially connected (Ross, 1995; Malin et al. 2001). Motherhood is a religiously and culturally dominant normative that is also required in Turkey. Married women’s social status depends on them giving birth to a child. Therefore, women’s desire to become biological mothers should be mainly understood as a response to a social demand and to the stigmatisation exerted on them even in the cases when it is their husbands that are the infertile ones and not them. As Lloyd (1997) emphasises, even if husbands are the infertile partners, women are culturally considered as responsible for infertility. During the interviews conducted for this study, some of the women’s descriptions of the situation showed parallel implications. The second aspect discussed is related to the meaning of assisted reproductive technologies...
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