Tokophobia is a quite interesting condition that doesn’t afflict a large percentage of the population and is, thus, largely unknown. As such, tokophobia is the strong fear and revulsion to being pregnant and giving birth. It can be considered a very important phobia, if it’s even right to call it as such, as it has powerful societal and interpersonal implications. Pregnancy and ultimately giving birth are both incredibly dangerous for the mother, so it’s no wonder this exists.
Who is mainly affected by tokophobia and why
Because it is primarily tied to the female biological reproductive ability, tokophobia mostly affects women. As an adult woman, if you are sexually active, you are constantly at risk of becoming pregnant, despite religiously using the best birth control out there. Of course, even in non-sexually active women, there is the risk of rape, which puts the victim at risk for pregnancy, amongst other disgusting things.
While it’s entirely possible men might be affected by it, I find it quite hard to believe that it’d be to the same extent as in the case of women. I would guess tokophobia in men’s case would manifest as simple disgust of pregnant women and revulsion at the thought of being violated physically in that manner. I am not sure if it’d be classified as ‘pure’ tokophobia.
Societal and interpersonal implications
Sure, a phobia is a mostly private issue that is handled with a therapist if need be. But in this case, as it often happens with women’s issues, tokophobia becomes a rather controversial issue that bears societal implications as well. For example, many women with tokophobia will choose not to have biological children, for obvious reasons. Many conservative people (but not only, surprisingly) will go out of their ways to express being offended at the thought of women not getting pregnant and giving birth.
Interpersonal implications are a bit more complicated, though. The main common effect of being tokophobic is avoiding pregnancy at all costs and never having biological children. That’s fine, and it’s a non-issue. Women can and should make this choice more often. However, as in the case of childfree people, people will go out of their way to scrutinize this choice.
Random people and close people alike will come out of the woodworks to tell you what an awful decision this is. Unfortunately, this will put a lot of strain on personal relationships and romantic ones are even worse. Men are more likely to feel entitled to ‘getting’ a child, especially after marriage. As they can’t experience pregnancy, I’m sure it’s easier for them to demand a biological child.