Pronatalism Is Violence Against Women: The Role of Genetics

  • Laura M. PurdyEmail author
Part of the Library of Public Policy and Public Administration book series (LPPP, volume 12)


Pronatalism—the social bias toward having children—is at the core of much violence against women. Its chief characteristic, and its moral Achilles heel, is that it undermines autonomous decision-making about childbearing. Together with its soulmates misogyny and geneticism, it harms children, male partners, and humanity as a whole, given the serious environmental challenges now facing us. But, of course, biology requires women to gestate offspring, and women are generally expected to be responsible for childrearing. Female gender roles incorporate these facts, and thus pronatalism’s negative impact on women—both their bodies and their lives—is of another order of magnitude. Yet, this state of affairs is so taken for granted that it is almost invisible, and is therefore especially hard to eradicate. Attempts to do so (anti-pronatalism) are also often erroneously confused with, and undermined by, negativism about having children (anti-natalism).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wells CollegeAuroraUSA

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