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Why are childless women childless? Findings from an exploratory study in Victoria, Australia

Authors:

Melissa Graham ,

Deakin University, AU
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Erin Hill,

Deakin University, AU
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Julia Shelly,

Deakin University, AU
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Ann Taket

Deakin University, AU
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Abstract

Childlessness in Australia is increasing yet there is limited research exploring women’s reasons for childlessness. Previous research has typically examined childlessness within the context of fertility rather than childlessness itself. The limited research that has moved beyond looking at involuntary childlessness has labelled women with a type of childlessness during recruitment rather than exploring women’s reasons for childlessness as a part of the research process. The aim of this mixed methods exploratory study (n = 50) was to describe women’s reasons for childlessness. Findings indicate that almost half of the women did not wish to have children. Reasons for childlessness included: having never wanted to have children; having never been in the ‘right’ relationship; and being in a relationship where the partner did not want to have children. The findings provide insight into women’s reasons for childlessness, how they feel about their decision, circumstance and position as a woman in a pronatalist society.

How to Cite: Graham, M., Hill, E., Shelly, J. and Taket, A., 2013. Why are childless women childless? Findings from an exploratory study in Victoria, Australia. Journal of Social Inclusion, 4(1), pp.70–89. DOI: http://doi.org/10.36251/josi.63
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Published on 28 Aug 2013.
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