Catherine van de Ruit
Online forums for women using in vitro fertilization (IVF), or similar assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), provide a useful setting to further evaluate and understand women’s expectations of motherhood, the relationship infertile women have with physicians and biomedicine, and their interactions on the forums. Some critics of ARTs consider them a tool of oppression in a pronatalist state. The pressure and desire to become a biological mother leads the women with access to these technologies to use them regardless. Through digital ethnographic research on four online ART forums, this research examines the intersection of altruism and self-interest in the ways forum-users give and seek support, as well as how the structure of the forums allows for these interactions to occur. The forums still reflect society’s pronatalist preference of biological motherhood, but they function as a space women can participate in to gain and provide knowledge and encouragement during this time in their lives.
Burns, Megan, "Where Trying to Conceive Becomes a Community Effort: A Digital Ethnography of Online Infertility Forums" (2018). Sociology Honors Papers. 4.
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