Misconception: Social Class and Infertility in America

By Ann V. Bell | Go to book overview

Appendix: Methodology

The Participants

Between 2008 and 2010, I interviewed sixty-three women about their experiences of infertility. To better understand the socioeconomic components of the experience, I recruited women of both high and low SES. In particular, I oversampled economically disadvantaged women because their experiences are largely absent from both popular and academic discourse. Additionally, in an effort to not generalize by class, I recruited both black and white women to participate in the study. As stated in my introduction, however, gaining such diversity in the high SES group was difficult despite my efforts. I undertook targeted recruitment of black women of high SES by advertising at black sororities, African American churches, predominantly black civic organizations, and in other research projects studying that population. Despite such efforts, I only recruited three black participants of high SES. Given such small numbers, I eliminated their interviews from the analysis. I also removed two additional interviews with women that identified as Latina. Thus, the analyses in this book are based on fifty-eight in-depth, semistructured interviews with three groups of women: twenty white low SES women, twenty-one black low SES women, and seventeen white women of high SES.

In addition to race and class, the participants had to be between the ages of eighteen and forty-four. This age range reflects that of the participants in the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), the largest national survey examining fertility. Limiting the ages to such childbearing years also restricts participants to those who are currently infertile or have recently experienced infertility. The present study is also limited to women who have ever experienced involuntary childlessness for at least one year due to the inability to conceive or carry a child to term. Phrasing recruitment in this way

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