Attitudes about Infertility among Male and Female Saudi Medical Students

  •  C. A. DeCoursey    
  •  Ewa B. Krawczyk    


Gender biases impact doctors’ advising on infertility, thereby shaping treatment recommendations and patient health outcomes. This study explored the roles attributed to gender in the personal opinions of male and female medical residents in Saudi Arabia. This study used content and Appraisal analyses to explore attitudes realised by 85 female and 81 male Saudi medical interns about infertility. Content contained six themes, including infertility, psychology, children, marriage, divorce and religion. Both male and female participants understood women as the cause of and person responsible for dealing with infertility. Males focused on medical treatments, females on folk medicines. Female appraisals were mainly negative, male appraisals mainly positive. Strong co-frequencies were found for females between divorce and misery, and folk medicine and capacity, and for males between medical treatments and capacity, and children as emotionally fulfilling to women and normality. Both groups understood infertility primarily as a social and religious more than a medical issue. Gender biases, and contradictions in attributed gender roles were evident in how both groups discussed infertility. International institutions teaching healthcare communication must emphasise awareness of how gender stereotyping and cultural factors impact infertility advising and treatment.

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