International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
Useless Uterus: The Impact of Unwelcome and Unsolicited Messages on the Childfree


This study explored how individuals that are childfree by choice are impacted by pronatalist messages that they receive. By utilizing a grounded theory approach for this qualitative study, a deeper understanding was gained of the interpersonal experience of individuals that identify as childfree by choice. Pronatalist messages were found to have varying degrees of pressure and escalate as individuals continued to resist their pressure. The negative messages were primarily directed at women and were categorized as hostile. The men were found to receive mostly positive messages that were categorized as persuasive. The sources of the direct messages are through the relationships closest to the childfree individuals which suggest persistent and regular exposure to them. The impact was found to be one of two possible experiences: anxiety or gaslighting. Anxiety was observed through the participants attempting to resist impact by enacting a defensive or avoidant state. Gaslighting was evidenced by participants absorbing impact through internalizing the pronatalist messages and judgements, or by questioning themselves.