Where are all the men? The marginalization of men in social scientific research on infertility

Lorraine Culley, Nicky Hudson, Maria Lohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)
960 Downloads (Pure)


There is a wealth of research exploring the psychological consequences of infertility and assisted reproduction technology: a substantial body of sociological and anthropological work on ‘reproductive disruptions’ of many kinds and a small but growing literature on patient perspectives of the quality of care in assisted reproduction. In all these fields, research studies are far more likely to be focused on the understandings and experiences of women than those of men. This paper discusses reasons for the relative exclusion of men in what has been called the ‘psycho-social’ literature on infertility, comments on research on men from psychological and social perspectives and recent work on the quality of patient care, and makes suggestions for a reframing of the research agenda on men and assisted reproduction. Further research is needed in all areas, including: perceptions of infertility and infertility treatment seeking; experiences of treatment; information and support needs; decisions to end treatment; fatherhood post assisted conception; and the motivation and experiences of sperm donors and men who seek fatherhood through surrogacy or co-parenting. This paper argues for multimethod, interdisciplinary research that includes broader populations of men which can contribute to improved clinical practice and support for users of assisted reproduction treatment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Assisted reproduction technology;

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology


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