Chapter

Women Rethinking Parenthood

Gay Becker

in The Elusive Embryo

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780520224308
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925243 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520224308.003.0013
Women Rethinking Parenthood

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Redefining normalcy is the prelude to redesigning one's life. When women do not conceive, they begin to turn their lives in new directions. Reworking their gender identity continues while they are rethinking the cultural ideologies to which they previously subscribed. Infertility treatment may go on for years, sooner or later people start to rethink the overall direction of their lives. During this process, which may also last for years, people may face questions about gender identity, age, and relationships with a partner and the extended family. The process may be more profound for women than for men because of cultural ideals that equate womanhood with motherhood. But no woman, even one who has succeeded in having children, is exempt from this life transition. Infertility is a life-changing experience because it challenges so many cultural assumptions about how life should be. Women's experience with medical technology is part of the catalyst for this subsequent reworking of life.

Keywords: redesigning; cultural ideologies; infertility treatment; cultural assumptions; medical technology

Chapter.  5455 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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