Two Roads: Women and the Decision to Remain Childfree
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Despite more women choosing not to have children, social stigma remains for voluntarily childfree women. Awareness and experience of this stigma may complicate the decision for women as well as increase social isolation during and after the decision-making process. Further, unacknowledged pronatalism and gaps in understanding the challenges inherent in saying no to parenting may result in therapists perpetuating the stigmatization of women who come to them for support in making a decision. In order to build on previous research and increase understanding of the decision-making process, voluntarily childfree women were interviewed and a grounded theory data analysis was employed. Results pointed to a style of decision-making not previously recognized – gradual deciders. In addition, factors identified as helpful and not helpful in the decision-making process point to counselling considerations. Further research is recommended.