Why are women freezing their eggs? Because of the lack of eligible men | Zeynep Gurtin

Doctors in lab coats are no substitute for knights in shining armour. But many more women in their 30s and 40s want to explore their motherhood options

• Zeynep Gurtin is a senior research associate at the London Women’s Clinic and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

New research on egg freezing has this week confirmed what single, well-educated women have instinctively known for years: there is a dearth of eligible men out there.

Professor Marcia Inhorn, an anthropologist at Yale University, and her colleagues interviewed 150 women in their late 30s and early 40s who opted for egg freezing in the US and Israel. Their results show that women were not intentionally postponing childbearing for educational or career reasons, as is often assumed in media coverage of this phenomenon, but rather preserving their remaining fertility because they did not have partners to create a family with. The researchers conclude that women see egg freezing as “a technological concession to the man deficit”, using it to “buy time” while continuing their search for a suitable partner to father their children.

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