According to recent surveys, approximately 40% of American women between the ages of 18 and 44 do not have children. Yet these women are virtually missing from accounts of women's lives. In this important new work, Mardy Ireland defines a place for women outside the parameters of motherhood and gives voice to the significant number of women who are not mothers. She draws extensively from interviews with over 100 childless women from various ethnic and educational backgrounds, demonstrating the myriad ways they came to view themselves as complete adults without recourse to the traditional defining criteria of motherhood. Her work offers all women-- mothers and nonmothers alike--a vision of self- defined adulthood and a recognition that every woman is the subject of her own life.
Table of Contents
1. Childless in the 1990s: The "Other" Woman and Why Now?
2. The Traditional Woman: Child-less
3. The Transitional Woman: Child-free and Child- less
4. The Transformative Woman: Child-free
5. The Development of Female Identity: Facts or Fictions?
6. Weaving an Alternative Understanding
7. The Gendered View of Identity: Limitations and Possibilities
8. Women but Not Mothers
from the publisher's website