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Fate, Morals and Rational Calculations: Freezing Eggs for Non-Medical Reasons in Turkey


Göçmen,  İpek
Projekte von Gastwissenschaftlern und Postdoc-Stipendiaten, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;
Social Policy Forum, Boğaziçi University, Turkey;

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Kılıç, A., & Göçmen, İ. (2018). Fate, Morals and Rational Calculations: Freezing Eggs for Non-Medical Reasons in Turkey. Social Science & Medicine, (published online March 7). doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.03.014.

This article aims to explore women's decisions to freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons in Turkey. It draws on semi-structured interviews conducted with twenty-one women who were either in the process of freezing their eggs, or had completed the process within the previous year. Being highly educated and holding prestigious occupations, on the one hand, and faced with traditional gender norms, on the other, these women are confronted with a challenging decision. When making such a decision to freeze their eggs, women act under the constraints defined by biomedical paradigms, the society they live in, and the future uncertainty of their lives. However, it becomes apparent that women are able to reconcile different kinds of rationalities and concerns in their decisions to freeze eggs. They engage in rational calculations to find a solution to their reproductive concerns; they turn to their own belief systems when dealing with future uncertainty; and they negotiate social norms concerning virginity, while trying to conform to traditional reproductive roles.