Reconceiving Women: Separating Motherhood From Female Identity

Laura Carroll, LiveTrue Books

In this pathbreaking book, psychologist Mardy Ireland takes on womanhood without parenthood.  She does an insightful historical examination of the development of female identity from a psychoanalytic view, and how the theories don’t take into account the development of identity without motherhood.

Using what she learned from over 100 interviews with women, she outlines three types of women who chose the childfree life in recent sociological context: the “traditional woman: childless,” the “transitional woman: childfree and childless,” and the “transformational woman: childfree.”  Ireland’s book stands out because it one of the first books in the childfree arena to show readers how women who are not mothers come to “self-defined adulthood and a recognition that every woman is the subject of her own life.”  Reconceiving Women remains a foundational book for all who want to explore what female identity without children truly means.


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