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Children and Choice: Decisions, Dialogue, and Sites of Discursive Tension for Members of Nonmutual Couples while Family Planning
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This study utilizes RDT 2.0 to analyze how family planning discourse between members of nonmutual couples, or couples where one member wants to have children and one member does not, shape reproductive decision-making and relational satisfaction. This study also examines the ways in which nonmutual couples work to reify or resist normative reproductive discourses. Contrapuntal analysis uncovered that competition between Childfree-Parenthood discourses were widely prevalent in nonmutual couples’ family planning considerations and interaction with cultural assumptions of parenthood. In addition, salient discourse competition between Autonomy-Connection, Openness-Closedness, Stability-Change, and Similarity-Difference were found to play a role in nonmutual couples’ family planning choices and relational satisfaction. Competing discourses of Autonomy-Connection and Similarity-Difference were also found to be involved in nonmutual couples’ interaction with cultural reproductive expectations. Discursive interplay arose through nonmutual couples’ use of entertaining, countering, and negating. This study outlines supplementary effects of findings and future directions for study.