Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN13_10a: Fertility and reproductive technologies
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Catherine McNamee, Queen's University Belfast
Session Chair: Kathryn Almack, University of Hertfordshire
Location: UP.2.218
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road

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Increasing Rates Of Caesarean Section Influence The Current Generations Emotionally

Inés Brock

MEU Multiversität - Studienzentrum der Diploma, Germany

Birth is one of the most emotionally charged events in family life. Mother and child, father and siblings – they all were influenced by the manner in which the process of birth is experienced by each of them. Physiologically influenced power on the one hand and loneliness and powerlessness on the other hand. Mothers in delivery could get to know with both sides of behaviour in clinical settings. Especially the raising rates of caesarean section could cause a critical view of practises in hospitals. The individual perception indeed affects the emotions during being in labour and under giving birth. For the baby too it makes a difference how the birth is finished and how are the mother ‘s feelings meanwhile. There are many scientific results argue for the lifelong consequences and psychological effects on mother and child and also the complete family. And finally we do not know prospectively what impacts for the future generation will be expected. The paper collects the outcome of a qualitative case study with interviews of fathers and mothers. The favoured interest focused on further expectations that depends on experiences the infants have from a developmental point of view.

Sperm Donation, Fertility Treatments and the Constitution of Single Mothers by Choice

Zohar Lechtman

Independent Researcher and Consultant, Zohar Lechtman, practitioner, Israel

Much of the work on single mothers by choice has focused on managing life as a new form of a female headed family. In this paper I ask if and how does the reproductive process involved constitute a gendered self that challenges traditional notions of single motherhood. Based on about forty in-depth interviews with Israeli single mothers by choice, and follow-up on social media, I suggest that conformity to hegemonic reproductive femininity allows single women to erode some aspects of hegemonic images of family and motherhood. Prospective single mothers by choice are the fastest growing clientele of sperm banks and fertility clinics in Israel, a society known for its high demand for children, marital rates, and availability of reproductive technology. Interviews suggest that reproduction, fertility and infertility are central to the constitution of single mothers by choice as individuals and a group, and to distinguish themselves from other single parent families. The choice of donor on the one hand, and the sometimes long, demanding, and frustrating fertility treatments on the other, reinforce a sense of independent, proactive, successful single mother of successful family. Fertility treatments draw support and admiration form their immediate environment. Being sperm bank clients also serves as basis, thus far the only basis, for political organizing. Their experience is a source of legitimacy and power to erode hegemonic images of single womanhood and motherhood, but only within the limits of individualized commitment to reproduction.

Procreative Boundaries: Gay Men Navigating Surrogacy

Wendy Norton

De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom

Gay men are increasingly using surrogacy to create biologically related families, yet little is known about how the socio-cultural context shapes UK resident gay men’s experiences. These data are drawn from a wider exploratory, qualitative study based on an interpretivist epistemology. The study explored the factors that influence UK resident gay men’s desire and motivation for parenthood, why men choose surrogacy over other family building options and their experiences as they navigate the surrogacy journey.

Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 21 gay men who had undergone surrogacy arrangements in the UK, USA and India and 15 key stakeholders (surrogacy organisations, legal and regulatory agencies, and healthcare professionals). Data were analysed using thematic analysis informed by concepts of procreative consciousness, procreative responsibility and procreative boundaries to analyse gay men’s meanings and experiences as they pursue surrogacy.

Gay men face unique challenges in family formation, many of which are largely absent for other intended parents accessing reproductive technologies. They need to navigate, a range of boundaries: social, relational, institutional, and legal, which constitute a series of potential barriers to achieving parenthood. A focus on procreative boundaries highlights the importance of the socio-cultural, confines within which procreative consciousness and responsibility are enabled, shaped and enacted. The presentation analyses these boundaries and discusses the ways in which dominant discourses of family and kinship accentuate existing inequalities and reproduce practices based on heterosexism and gender bias within the realm of surrogacy.

Parental Desires and Intentions of Czech Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Men and Women

Marta Vohlídalová, Hana Maříková

Institute of Sociology Academy of Sciences of the Czech Rep., Czech Republic

The desire and intention (DI) to remain childfree for life is still marginal among young people in CEE. Late modernity brought about noticeable changes in the private sphere, interrelated with diversification of relationship, parental and family models. Similarly, changes in the realm of sexuality have occurred, including changes towards partner relationship(s) of and parenting by non-heterosexual people. At the same time the parenthood has been constructed as fundamentally heteronormative, thus marginalizing family models that deviate from the dominant norm. In the CR, as well as in other CEE countries the aforementioned changes appeared much later than in the Western countries which are the object of the majority of LGBT research. While the same-sex partnerships, legalized 10 years ago in the Czech Rep., have become socially accepted in the country, the adoption of (step)children by same-sex couples hasn´t been legalized yet and the heteronormativity regarding parenthood is still strongly promoted and accepted in the society. There are only a few studies of parental DI among LGB people with the view to understanding how they are shaped, what influences them in the context of CR. The paper focuses on conditions and factors influencing parental desires and intentions of LGB people in the context in the CR. It asks: What are the DI among the LGB population and what factors explain the different parental DI and attitudes toward parenthood among the LGB population? What are the main barriers and obstacles to parenthood perceived by different groups of LGB people? The findings are based on a unique survey on a representative sample of 400 LGB respondents aged 25–45 conducted in 2019 in the CR.

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