Degrees of Medicalization: The Case of Infertility Health-Seeking

Arthur L. Greil, Katherine M. Johnson, Michele H. Lowry, Julia McQuillan, Kathleen S. Slauson-Blevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We examine responses to infertility among a sample of 2,361 women with infertility from the National Survey of Fertility Barriers. Latent class analysis uncovered seven latent classes of behavioral response which can be arranged in a rough continuum from least medicalized to most medicalized response. We then aggregated these seven categories into three schemas representing various degrees of medicalization. Women in each class combine treatment-seeking, knowledge-seeking, socio-emotional support seeking, and non-medical solution-seeking strategies. Even women pursuing the greatest degree of medicalization in their health-seeking (e.g., fertility treatments, assisted reproduction) made use of a variety of medical and non-medical health-seeking resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-365
Number of pages19
JournalSociological Quarterly
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

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Keywords

  • Medical sociology
  • family
  • sex and gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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