Blame or Shame: The Search for Online Support and Stigma Origin Among Israeli Childless Women

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study employed the uses and gratifications approach to examine the role of online support forums in coping with the stigma of childlessness in Israel. The study compared two online support groups: one for Israeli women with fertility issues and another for Israeli women who are voluntarily childless. A quantitative content analysis was used to examine the frequency of support message types, and in-depth interviews with group members were used to examine members’ motivations for seeking these support types. The origin of the childlessness stigma carried great influence in the search for social support. Fertility forum members searched significantly more for information and emotional support to cope with a condition they felt was being forced on them and that was also perceived by society. However, voluntarily childless forum members sought significantly more for esteem and network support to cope with the social isolation stemming from unfavorable views toward their reproductive choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-138
Number of pages22
JournalMass Communication and Society
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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