Perspectives on parenthood, subfertility and fertility treatments : a comparative study of British and Greek sub-fertile and fertile couples
This research aimed to explore the areas of parenthood, fertility/subfertility and fertility treatments in relation to fertility status and culture (British or Greek). Two hundred couples took part in this study. One hundred were British, 50 of which were subfertile couples and 50 fertile couples. The remaining one hundred couples were Greek, 50 of which were sub-fertile and the other 50 were fertile. The methodologies used were both quantitative and qualitative. In the quantitative part, not only the British and the Greek cultures were compared, but differences due to gender and fertility status (fertile vs. infertile) were also examined. Attitudes to parenthood and to fertility treatments were the main focus of the quantitative study. Furthermore, a variety of demographic characteristics, well being and social support variables were explored. These were all explored through the use of questionnaires. The main focus of discourse analysis (qualitative part) was the similarities and differences between the Greek and the British cultures in the way they construct issues like parenthood, subfertility and fertility treatments. All participants filled in the questionnaires, while only 10 British and 10 Greek couples from the subfertile sample were interviewed. Quantitative results, as was expected, suggested that Greek couples placed higher value on parenthood than the British couples. Similarly, Greeks were found to have more positive attitudes to reproductive technologies than the British. Also, subfertile couples attributed higher value to parenthood than did fertile individuals. No gender differences were found either within or between cultures. Similarities and striking differences were found between the British and the Greek interviewees in relation to their constructions of parenthood, subfertility and fertility treatments. The quantitative and qualitative results of the study inform each other in an interesting way, bringing more light to the area of research and insight to future research.