Women’s Desire for Pregnancy: The desire to have a child never goes away

Women’s Desire for Pregnancy: The desire to have a child never goes away


Desire for children, planning and experiencing pregnancy

Parenthood opens up different gender-specific perspectives for women and men, even though they have a child together. In this section, we will only look at the perspective of women.

Desire to have children

Women's Desire for Pregnancy-children-kids

In general, it should be mentioned at the outset that the question of which internal and external conditions it depends on, that some couples have an intimate, strong desire to have children, others are rather fatalistically opposed to the desire to have children, and yet others seem to follow the convention (“because it is natural for a family~’ ), without connecting it with concrete ideas, can hardly be answered.

In a study of 800 women on the motives for abortion, some conditions could be outlined which makes the acceptance of an existing pregnancy seem possible or impossible. Favorable conditions were a stable partner relationship as a basis for a common future with a child, socially favorable conditions (own home), occupation, and thus own income as well as an age of 22 years and older. If, on the other hand, the relationship was too short or too unstable to develop future prospects, if the woman still lived with her parents or was still in vocational training (combined with a low income), then non-acceptance could be expected at 900/0 (Wimmer-Puchinger 1982b). The weight of these indicators was confirmed in a recent study by the Max Planck Institute for International Criminal Law Research in the FRG (Holzhauer 1989). Sociological studies also revealed the following factors influencing the desire for children: professional qualifications and real chances in professional life, attachment to religious values, and size of residence (Munz 1985; Oeter 1982).

Women's Desire for Pregnancy

An open discussion of the desire for children is overshadowed by social norms:

1) Wanting children of one’s own represents a high ethical value in every society. This desire is therefore also reflected in a normative
character. Couples who refrain from this after long deliberations are statistically in the minority. (Even when the media sketches gloomy predictions of the future of childless societies! If one wants to look at these prognoses in a serious way, more complex demographic linkages have to be taken into account). Childless couples are therefore readily condemned by society, or at the very least they encounter incomprehension and regret. This is very clearly and distressingly felt by those women and couples whose desire for children has remained unfulfilled (Stauber 1979).

2 As much as the desire for children is normatively expected in our society, the unspoken demand that the “true” desire must be self-styled, altruistic, is regarded as if the true desire for children were the desire of those to whom no fault of their own motive is allowed to cling. The question of the “louder” rounds of movement is thus the subject of a further moral discourse.

How precarious this question is can be seen in the desire for children of idiopathically sterile couples in connection with the indication for in vitro fertilisation (see also p. 76). Frick-Bruder (1987) attempts the following distinction between “healthy” and “pathological” desire to have children:

A healthy desire to have children arises in a mature relationship based on partnership. The partners want to create something together, something third, which they can experience as an enrichment of their common life. The desire for a child therefore arises from the dialogue of their relationship, and is therefore inconceivable without the other, past the other or without consideration for the other. A healthy couple mourns if they do not have a child of their own against their wishes, but they can cope with this ‘woman’. .

Women's Desire for Pregnancy

.. When the desire for children is “sick”, the partners are dominated by the feeling of being worthless, empty and unhappy without a child. The child becomes the ‘frller of all hopes and a substitute for the owner not completed self-realization. Partner relationships in which the desire for children has this function are structurally immature, not adult. The desire therefore has a beneficial rather than a partnership character (Frick-Bruder 1985).

Jurgensen (1985) agrees with this argumentation under the condition that “unheard of fantasies of wish fulfilment is projected onto a child”. Many women expect a child to heal all the wounds that life has inflicted on them. The child then suffers an ErIOser function, so to speak. Others think that only with a child do they walk with a full body.

“That is, the child should – in psychological jargon – close a narcissistic wound. In another group, sterility treatment or the desire to have children has the character of an obsessive-compulsive symptom; this can affect everything else in life like
Put partnership and profession in the shade and make them worthless. … Thgesablauf and
For years, the only subject of thought was sterility treatment (Jurgensen 1985).

Women's Desire for Pregnancy

We can consider the desire to have children on two levels: Firstly…
the real, rather more conscious and namable level, on the other hand on
more unconscious, intrapsychic level. Find on the more conscious level
for example the following reasons:

  • – urn in love with a human being a bit further to unfold,
  • – urn to pass on the joy of life that you yourself feel,
  • – in settings that are more conventional, for example, because it is normal for a married couple to start a family.
  • – to give life a deeper meaning.

Ottomeyer (1977) emphasizes this as a reflection on values other than those
in our society, performance-related life goals have become entrenched. According to the theses of this author, the desire for children has become independent as the only
Form of self-fulfilment and relationship of the couple (quoted after Beringhausen 1980).

In an empirical study of 300 married women with one child, Urdze and Rerrich (1981) investigated the question of why young mothers are interested in second child or not. 520/0 of the interviewees wished
one more child, but 46% said they didn’t want another child.
2% were undecided. The thndence to the 1-child family (factors that
spoke against another desire to have children) was then given,

  • -when you yourself were raised as an only child,
  • – when children were not seen as the sole and most important purpose in a woman’s life,
  • – if children were not seen as self-susceptibility, as a MOB,
  • – when traditional notions of a woman’s life were rejected,
  • – if there was no or only a loose connection to religion,
  • – if there was a clear career orientation and a very positive attitude towards the current or previously practiced profession,
  • – if the environment was considered hostile to children,
  • – if you lived in the big city and/or in housing conditions that were rated as bad,
  • – with a low level of education.

Women's Desire for Pregnancy The desire to have a child never goes away

Women who wanted a second child justified this decision with the
expected advantages for the first child (Urdze and Rerrich 1981, p.12).

The authors then attempted to analyze biographical factors influencing the further life planning of the women through in-depth interviews, and
found the following connections:

an experience of financial scarcity in childhood caused
many women to wish for a higher standard of living. This experience does not yet influence the desire to have children in adolescence, but after the first experiences with an own child, it will be used for the further
Family planning updated.

Planning the path of life leads to a confrontation with one’s own mother. Her situation is judged to be worse than her own, which is why
overburdened by too large a family.

The mother is considered too dependent, too devoted, and too family-oriented. In deliberate distancing from the life of their own mother
the desire for a different lifestyle develops and with it
fewer children.

– The relationship with the father does not have an einfiu6 on the desire for a certain number of children. It does, however, affect the idea of future family life and the expectations of one’s partner.

– The number of siblings and especially the number of children proved to be decisive,
whether the relationship with the siblings was experienced as good or bad.


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Women’s Desire for Pregnancy: The desire to have a child never goes away