Reproductive and parental autonomy: an argument for compulsory parental education

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In this paper we argue that comprehensive and systematic parental education has the potential to equip young adults with the necessary information for the responsible exercise of their autonomy in choices about reproduction and parenting. Education can allow Young adults to acquire largely accurate beliefs about reproduction and parenting and about the implications of their reproductive and parental choices. Far from being a limitation of individual freedom, the acquisition of relevant information about reproduction and parenting and the acquisition of self-knowledge with respect to reproductive and parenting choices can help give shape to individual life plans. We make a case for compulsory parental education on the basis of the need to respect and enhance individual reproductive and parental autonomy within a culture that presents contradictory attitudes towards reproduction and where decisions about whether to become a parent are subject to significant pressure and scrutiny.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • parental autonomy
  • childlessness
  • reproductive autonomy
  • education
  • pro-reproductive culture
  • assisted reproduction


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