Celebrity Pregnancy Coverage Discounts the Effects of Age
Oct 31, 2017
Published in: ASRM Press Release
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE’S 2017 SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS & EXPO
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San Antonio, TX - At ASRM’s Scientific Congress and Expo in San Antonio, researchers from New York University’s School of Medicine and Langone Medical Center presented their work involving the media’s depiction of celebrities’ fertility and pregnancy in large-circulation magazines.
They hypothesized that stories hyping celebrities’ pregnancies and births at, what are in reality, advanced ages contribute to the public’s misunderstanding of reproductive aging, glamourizing pregnancy in older women and contributing to a notion among young women that fertility is flexible.
The researchers reviewed all issues from January 2010 to January of 2014 of three large-circulation magazines aimed at a female reproductive-aged audience. They quantified all articles and photos mentioning or depicting pregnancy, infertility, use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), gestational carrier, and adoption, as well as photos and mentions of mothers with children under two years of age.
In the 416 magazine issues evaluated, there were 1,894 references to pregnancy, motherhood, or fertility and one-third of the issues had cover stories related to fertility. The magazine stories covered 240 celebrities; they averaged 35 years of age, with more than half considered to be of advanced maternal age. Only two mentions were made of celebrities over 40 using ART with their own eggs, and there were no mentions of the use of donated eggs. There were no mentions of anyone experiencing prior infertility in the 10 adoption and five gestational carrier stories identified.
ASRM President Richard J. Paulson, MD remarked, “Many women working to establish themselves in their careers, including many celebrities, choose to have children later- in their 30s or 40s. Celebrities’ and media’s reluctance to show the challenges that often go along with trying to conceive and have children at older ages is a form of misinformation that can affect the beliefs and decisions of their audience for the worse. We need greater transparency and an end to the stigma of infertility.”
O-154 S. Willson et al,” AGE IS JUST A NUMBER:' HOW CELEBRITY-DRIVEN MAGAZINES MISREPRESENT FERTILITY AT ADVANCED REPRODUCTIVE AGES”
ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. www.asrm.org
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