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Title: Abortion : the male perspective
Author: Hunt, Katrina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 5960
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2005
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Despite the high public profile of abortion, and the fact that men play a shared role in the creation of any pregnancy, men have been accorded little visibility in research, debates and the media in relation to abortion. This study argues the importance of conducting research with men in relation to (1) the decision-making process to have an abortion, (2) the male role and the provision of support, (3) the psychological responses of men involved in an abortion and (4) the positioning of men with regard to the moral aspects of abortion. A further research aim was to explore how men involved in abortion speak about responsibility in relation to contraception. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with eight men ranging in age from 25-34 yrs, whose respective partners / ex-partners had undergone a legal abortion for reasons other than foetal abnormality within the last eight years. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was employed as the primary method of analysis, while Foucauldian Discourse Analysis was used to address the research aim regarding contraception. The main findings were that in the decision-making process to have an abortion the men experienced feelings of powerlessness, compounded by ineffective communication with their partners. The men tended to feel that they lacked a role in relation to abortion and they appeared somewhat uncomfortable within a support role. There were both positive and negative responses to the abortion, including feeling relief, becoming more responsible, being wary of future relationships and feeling shame. The men appeared to attempt to distance themselves from thinking about the moral aspects of abortion. Finally, men's cultural positioning in relation to contraception (as not responsible and marginalised) was very apparent in their talk about contraception in the context of abortion. The importance of placing psychological research within the social context was discussed and the results suggested that the male participants' experiences of abortion were strongly influenced by dominant societal discourses about men and women. It was argued that abortion is a topic that challenges the traditional gender roles. The possible implications of the research, alongside a continued increase in the visibility of men in relation to abortion, were discussed regarding men's and women's experiences of abortion, further research, service provision and social policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: D Clin Psych Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available