You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Stigma of Involuntary Childlessness
Charlene E. Miall
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Apr., 1986), pp. 268-282
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800719
Page Count: 15
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
In this paper, I analyze the stigma associated with involuntary childlessness and compare the perceptions and behavior of physically infertile women and physically fertile women who are involuntarily childless. I also consider information management strategies developed to offset this stigma. These strategies include selective concealment, therapeutic and preventive disclosure, medical disclaimers, deviance avowal, and a process of practiced deception. I conclude that, although physically infertile women feel more stigmatized, physically fertile women manage information more actively to protect their husbands from the stigma associated with sexual dysfunction. Theoretically, I suggest that these women self-label infertility as discreditable or stigmatizing apart from any formal or informal response.
Social Problems © 1986 Oxford University Press