Not Yet Pregnant: Infertile Couples in Contemporary America, by Larry L. Greil

Not Yet Pregnant: Infertile Couples in Contemporary America

by Larry L. Greil

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Format: Hardcover, 243pp.
ISBN: 081351682X
Publisher: Rutgers University Press 
Pub. Date: August 1991

Description from

From Library Journal

In describing the experience of infertile couples, Greil discusses spousal, family, and social relationships; couples' reactions to their encounters with medical treatment; and attempts of ordinary, middle-class Americans to make sense out of their lives. He examines the social and cultural concepts that shape our views and reactions to infertility and how these expectations affect the personal and emotional lives of childless couples. He explores in detail the differing reactions of men and women. Greil argues that one result of the strides medical technology has made in helping infertile couples has been the engendering of the idea that infertility is a problem that can be solved and not, like our forebears believed, a personal condition to be endured. Interesting and scholarly, but not essential.-- Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn.

From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly

Greil, a sociologist and member of an infertile couple, offers a readable and revealing text that could prove useful to infertile couples as well as to those who support them, including counselors, health care workers and friends. His data come from other writings on the subject, health history questionnaires and taped interviews with 22 white, affluent couples. One of Greil's themes is the ``medicalization'' of infertility and its increasingly frequent depiction and treatment as a chronic illness. He notes that while husbands may view the situation as disappointing, wives tend to see it as devastating and as something that permeates their lives. He finds that infertility often increases tension in a relationship but, paradoxically, can lead to greater closeness. Ultimately one of the book's most conspicuous advantages is also one of its drawbacks: Greil's own experiences with infertility undoubtedly make him sensitive to the issues. However, since he does not discuss those experiences, one can only surmise when they influence his conclusions--for example, when he asserts that legislation should require insurance companies to pay for infertility treatments. (Aug.)

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