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1st Student's Major

Art, Educational Studies: K-12 and Secondary Programs

1st Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Additional Authors

Kyrsten Harper; Psychology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Lauren Sobotta; Social Work, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Rebecca Rand; Gender and Women’s Studies, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

Nicole Soley, originally from River Falls, Wisconsin, is currently studying Art Education with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science, Nicole plans to teach art K-12 and later attend an MFA program for printmaking. Eventually, Nicole aspires to open up a nonprofit community arts, printmaking, and garden center for both children and adults. Lauren Sobotta is currently a Social Work major. Originally from Rochester, Minnesota, Lauren aspires to graduate with both a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Social Work. Kyrsten Harper is a recent Psychology graduate. She is currently an Account Manager at Randstad Technologies and aspires to become an entrepreneur after a successful career in sales. Rebecca Rand is a Gender and Women’s Studies major from Ellendale, Minnesota. She plans to obtain a Masters Degree in Gender and Women’s Studies.

Mentor's Name

Shannon Miller

Mentor's Email Address

shannon.miller@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Gender and Women's Studies

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Today, the birthing process is predominantly medicalized in the United States. Compounding this phenomenon is the media, which has a strong influence on people’s perceptions, attitudes, and behavior, and can serve to reinforce cultural norms—specifically, mainstream media disproportionately promotes medicalized birth. The media often portrays labor and birth as a dangerous affair, and as a result, may contribute to the culture of fear around labor and birth. In this feminist, qualitative media analysis, we examined women’s experiences giving birth on a popular reality television series called One Born Every Minute. We analyzed how women’s births are portrayed in four episodes, paying close attention to the frequency of perceived danger and who identifies as the decision maker. We asked two questions to guide our study: 1) How often is birth portrayed as dangerous in the reality television show One Born Every Minute? and 2) Who are presented as decision makers during labor and birth? We found that labor and birth are more frequently portrayed as dangerous than not, and that women are most often the least empowered to make decisions during labor and birth, after their doctors and family members. This analysis reflects popular beliefs about labor and delivery and sheds light on the disempowerment of mothers in labor and birth.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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