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Lots of Successful Women Are Freezing Their Eggs. But It May Not Be About Their Careers.

来源:纽约时报    2018-07-06 02:05

        “Freeze Your Eggs, Free Your Career,” announced the headline of a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story in 2014. It was the year that Facebook and then Apple began offering egg freezing as a benefit to employees. Hundreds of think pieces followed, debating the costs and benefits of “postponing procreation” in the name of professional advancement.        “冷冻你的卵子,解放你的事业,”《彭博商业周刊》(Bloomberg Businessweek)2014年的一篇封面故事的标题这样宣称。正是在这一年,Facebook和苹果开始向员工提供冷冻卵子的服务。数以百计的观点文章接踵而至,对以职业发展之名“推迟生育”的成本和效益进行辩论。
        In the years since, many more women across the world have frozen their eggs. Many are highly educated. But the decision may have very little to do with work, at least according to a new study. In interviews with 150 American and Israeli women who had undergone one cycle, career planning came up as the primary factor exactly two times.        此后的几年里,全世界有更多女性冷冻了她们的卵子。许多人受过高等教育。但这项决定可能与工作关系不大,至少一项新的研究得出了这样的结论。对150名经历过一个冻卵周期的美国和以色列女性的采访发现,以职业规划为冻卵首要因素的情况,只出现了两次。
        Instead, most women focused on another reason: they still hadn’t found a man to build a family with.        相反,大多数女性关注的是另一个原因:她们仍然没有找到一个可以与之建立家庭的男人。
        “The stereotype that these ambitious career women are freezing their eggs for the purposes of their career — that’s really inaccurate at the present time,” said Marcia Inhorn, a medical anthropologist from Yale University, and one of the authors of the study, which was presented Monday at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s conference in Spain.        周一,在西班牙举行的一场欧洲人类生殖与胚胎学学会(European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology)研讨会介绍了这项研究,其作者之一、耶鲁大学的医学人类学家马西娅·英霍恩(Marcia Inhorn)说:“人们认为这些抱负远大的职业女性正在为了事业冷冻卵子,这种刻板印象在目前是相当不准确的。”
        Most of these mid-to-late 30s women were already established in their careers by the time they got to the clinic, the study found.        研究发现,这些30多不到40岁的女性来到诊所时,大多已经在事业上站稳了脚跟。
        “They weren’t freezing to advance; they were facing the overarching problem of partnership,” she said. This was the case, even among those who worked for companies that offered to pay for the procedure.        “她们不是为了晋升而冻卵;她们面临的首要问题是伴侣关系”,她说。甚至在那些愿意为冻卵程序付费的公司工作的人也是如此。
        Though a single woman, headed toward 40, may feel like a freakish anomaly as she freezes her eggs because she hasn’t found a partner, she’s not. This finding echoes other studies in the United States and Britain that have similarly found that it’s the absence of a partner that drives most women to freeze their eggs.        一个快40的单身女人,因为找不到伴侣而冷冻卵子,这听起来像是极其罕见的异常案例,但其实不是。这一发现与美国和英国的其他研究相呼应,它们都发现,正是没有伴侣的原因驱使了大多数女性冷冻她们的卵子。
        The subjects in this particular study, which has not yet been published, came from seven different fertility clinics. In the United States, the women generally lived in cities along the East Coast or in the Bay Area. They ranged in age from 29 to 42, with three-quarters falling between 35 and 39.        这项尚未发表的研究的对象来自七个不同的生育诊所。在美国,这些女性一般居住在东海岸或旧金山湾区的城市。她们的年龄在29岁至42岁之间,四分之三的人年龄在35岁至39岁之间。
        The research approach taken by Dr. Inhorn and her co-authors Dr. Pasquale Patrizio, director of the Yale Fertility Center, and Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli of the University of Haifa, involved asking women — both single and those who had partners — to share their egg freezing stories and then analyzing their responses to try to understand their primary motives.        英霍恩和她的合著者、耶鲁生育中心(Yale Fertility Center)主任帕斯夸莱·帕特里齐奥(Pasquale Patrizio)博士,以及海法大学(University of Haifa)的达普纳·比伦鲍姆-卡梅利(Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli)所采取的研究方法包括,要求单身女性和有伴侣的女性分享她们冷冻卵子的故事,然后分析她们的反应,试图了解她们的主要动机。
        Of the participating women, 85 percent were single and most were heterosexual. For about half of these single women, it was uncertainty about when they would meet a man to build a family with that brought them to the clinic, they told the researchers. The next largest group was driven there by a divorce or breakup. (Egg freezing was actually covered by several of these women’s divorce settlements.) This was followed by a smaller group of women who were deployed overseas and felt it was wise to freeze their eggs first and then a handful of women who were preparing to have a baby on their own. Career planning was the least common reason.        参加研究的女性中,85%是单身,大多数是异性恋。她们告诉研究人员,在这些单身女性中,大约有一半的人不知道她们什么时候会遇到可以共同建立家庭的男人,正是这种不确定性将她们带到了诊所。下一个最大的群体是因为离婚或分手来到了那里。(实际上其中一些女性的冻卵程序是用离婚分得的财产支付的。)随后更小的群体是在海外生活的女性,她们认为先冷冻她们的卵子是明智的做法,接着是少数准备单独抚养孩子的女性。职业规划是最不常见的原因。
        Among the 15 percent of the subjects who were in relationships, the reasons for freezing their eggs were not unlike the single women’s: though they had a partner, he was not yet ready or not interested in building a family.        在15%的非单身受访者中,冷冻卵子的原因与单身女性没有什么不同:尽管她们有伴侣,但他还没有准备好组建家庭,或者对此不感兴趣。
        Why are so many women having a hard time finding men to have children with? One hypothesis that researchers often cite is that it’s related to demographics. Women in many developed countries, including the United States, Canada, Britain, Japan, Norway and Australia, are now more educated than men. This could be creating a dearth of appealing male partners for these women.        为什么这么多女人很难找到可以一起生孩子的男人?研究人员经常引用的一个假设是,这其中存在人口学因素。包括美国、加拿大、英国、日本、挪威和澳大利亚在内的许多发达国家的女性现在比男性受教育程度更高。这可能会造成能够吸引这个女性群体的男性人口短缺。
        An American doctor in Dr. Inhorn’s study voiced this concern, saying “Most men don’t want relationships,” and are willing to date uneducated women, whereas most educated women will not. “So I think I have about a .09 percent chance of meeting someone.”        英霍恩研究中的一位美国医生表达了这种担忧,她说:“大多数男性不想拥有一段关系”,他们愿意和未受过教育的女性约会,而大多数受过教育的女性不会愿意和那样的男性约会。“因此我觉得我遇见一个合适的人的几率是0.09%。”
        While a number of her subjects seemed to feel empowered by their decision to freeze their eggs, this sense of frustration was common.        虽然英霍恩的一些研究对象似乎感到,冻结卵子的决定赋予了她们自主的力量,但挫折感也很普遍。
        “Why me? Why did I end up this way?” was a question that came up a lot. Yes, they had focused on their careers — but they had relationships over the years as well. Neither they, nor their friends, had expected to find themselves without a partner at this stage in their lives.        “为什么是我?我为什么会变成这样?”这是一个经常出现的问题。是的,她们曾专注于自己的事业——但多年来她们也建立过关系。无论是她们还是她们的朋友,没有人会想到自己在人生的这个阶段还没有伴侣。
        “It’s not something you’ve done,” Dr. Inhorn said she found herself wanting to tell them. “It’s you and thousands of other women.”         “并不是因为你自己的原因,”英霍恩发现她自己想这样对她们说。“有成千上万的女人和你一样。”

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