Reproduction related decisions from macro-micro perspectives in European comparison in the (post-)pandemic era

Lendület (“Momentum”) Programme of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA)



Reproduction related decisions from macro-micro perspectives in European comparison in the (post-)pandemic era

The aim of the proposed research project is to explore the social embeddedness of reproductive decisions. We specifically seek to examine reproductive decisions in a complex way, which means that we will not limit the meaning of reproduction to fertility, but we will also examine issues related to infertility, contraception, abortion, adoption, and fertility treatment. Examining a variety of reproductive decisions together provides us with an opportunity to better understand the processes of (not) becoming a parent.

We agree with those scholars who emphasized that reproductive decisions are not as premeditated as the theories of reproduction decision-making such as life course theory or theory of planned behaviour suggest. Thus, we will examine the two levels of embeddedness of reproductive decisions using mixed research methods.

First, we will explore the effect of macro-level factors (such as norms, values and legal background, as well as the pandemic situation) on individuals’ reproductive decisions. We will use multilevel analysis of international databases and critical discourse analysis overview of the most important online news portals in Hungary in the last five years to do so. Then we will focus on individual and interpersonal-level factors and examine the roles of partners, paying special attention to men’s involvement in reproductive decisions. For that we will conduct 60 semi-structured interviews. Finally, we will link the two levels by investigating how reproduction-related knowledge and belief are produced and how these kinds of knowledge and beliefs are transmitted in public schools. To do so we will use mixed methods, including problem centred interviews and a Computer Assisted Web Interviewing survey.

The last two years of the research project will be dedicated to synthetizing the empirical results and contributing to the body of theory.

Research leaderIvett Szalma

Research group: Tamás Bartus, Tamás Bitó, Lívia Murinkó, Mária Neményi, Borbála Szczuka, Judit Takács


Website of the project