Why Novels About Infertility’s Darkness are Hitting a Nerve
In a recent article in Psychology Today, Monica Starkman, M.D. explored some of the reasons that the current trend of dark story lines in popular fiction (books and movies both) are centered around infertility, pregnancy loss, babies separated from parents and other difficult and sad baby-related plots.
She cites the statistics, “More than 1 in 10 married women ages 15 – 44 in the U.S. had problems with fertility in 2015 (according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention). For women ages 35 – 44, 27% had impaired fertility, and of men aged 25-44, 12% did.” She adds that while infertility may not be part of a woman’s actual life experiences, the fear of infertility certainly can be, given the increased awareness to infertility issues and connections to friends who are facing an infertility diagnosis.
Dr. Starkman shares a list of 5 psychological consequences to impaired fertility that she affirms as sources of fear for women and adds that “these emotions and fears are not ones we wish to examine in ourselves. But it is through the arts, whether novels or film, that we are given the opportunity to experience them through a fictional character contending with the deep feelings and fears that inhabit us all, however under the surface they may be.”
Photo Credit: Andy Lamb