Women without Children: Nurturing Lives

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One in six women in America today will never have a child. Some women deliberately choose not to have children. Others postpone motherhood, often in favor of a career, and then find themselves unable or unwilling to become mothers. Still others yearn for children and are unable to conceive or adopt. Because our society perceives the bearing and nurturing of children as central roles for women, having no children can significantly impact a woman's view of herself and her place in the world. The social bias in ...
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New - excellent, clean condition - hard bound with dust jacket, "Women without Children: Nurturing Lives", Author: Vissing, Yvonne ** Publisher: Rutgers University Press * Date of ... Publication: 2002 Read more Show Less

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Overview

One in six women in America today will never have a child. Some women deliberately choose not to have children. Others postpone motherhood, often in favor of a career, and then find themselves unable or unwilling to become mothers. Still others yearn for children and are unable to conceive or adopt. Because our society perceives the bearing and nurturing of children as central roles for women, having no children can significantly impact a woman's view of herself and her place in the world. The social bias in favor of motherhood is so strong that childless women often feel isolated and fear to discuss their lives with friends who do have children. These friends, in turn, may fall into the common assumption that women without children either suffer lifelong regret or tend to be cold and "non-nurturing."

Based on over 125 interviews, this book explodes our cultural myths by exploring not only the reasons why these women do not have children, but also how not having children affects their day-to-day lives. Vissing brings alive the central issues for these women in part by having them tell their stories in their own words. The book is organized in three main sections -- the social context of "childlessness," its causes, and its meanings. Each section places the women's experiences within a demographic and sociological context to help readers understand the issues these individuals face and their efforts to make a place for themselves in a child-centered society.

Women without Children is also a celebration of the strength, beauty, and love demonstrated by women who -- by accident or choice -- have not borne or raised children. The book is intended simultaneously to provide understanding and insights, as well as comfort and empowerment, to those who traditionally have been made to feel less than whole because they do not have children.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813530802
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Childlessness in America 5
Chapter 2 The Pushes and Pulls of Childlessness 25
Chapter 3 Impact of Body, Mind, and Family Interactions 37
Chapter 4 Consequences of Partnerships 52
Chapter 5 Lifestyle Choices 65
Chapter 6 Infertility, Miscarriage, and Infant Death 83
Chapter 7 Choosing to End Family Dysfunction 113
Chapter 8 Processing Childlessness 128
Chapter 9 Child Haves and Have-Nots 150
Chapter 10 Nurturing Others 173
Chapter 11 Childless Women Growing Older 212
Chapter 12 Reflections on a Childless Life 226
About the Interviews 241
Notes 247
Index 257
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