There is an array of socially constructed life scripts which feature the motherhood role as a pinnacle for women; however, increasing numbers of women are remaining childless, violating these very basic informal morals of our society. In Australia, the political and social climate is predominantly pronatalist. Powerful discourses, produced through social, political, medical, and religious institutions, provide commentary on cultural discourses surrounding reproduction, femininity, and motherhood. The media play an important role in reinforcing and communicating these pervasive ideologies. This paper explores how childless women are represented in the Australian print media within the context of a pronatalist society. The representation of childless women was predominantly negative and characterised by reprimanding, pitying, and threatening undertones. Four main representations (sympathy worthy women; career women; the artefact of feminism; and reprimanded women) were identified but ultimately taken together they suggest that being a childless woman is an undesirable position in contemporary Australian society.
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