21A.216J Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics
2005/4/11 (M), Week 10, Class 18
Thompson, Charis. 2002. “Fertile Ground: Feminists Theorize Infertility.” In
Around the Globe: New Thinking on Childlessness, Gender, and Reproductive
Edited by Marcia C. Inhorn, Frank van Balen. Berkeley: University of
Kahn, Susan Martha. “Rabbis and Reproduction: The Uses of New Reproductive
Technologies among Ultraorthodox Jews in Israel.” 2002.
Infertility Around the Globe:
New Thinking on Childlessness, Gender, and Reproductive Technologies.
Marcia C. Inhorn, Frank van Balen. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Paxson, Heather. 2003. “With or Against Nature? IVF, Gender, and Reproductive
Agency in Athens, Greece.”
Social Science and Medicine.
56 (2003) 1853-1866.
Biopolitics, ideas of reproduction, gender, kinship, at a local level. Gender-kinship
ideology, the local moral world.
National identity, national security.
Who has access, who doesn’t?
To what extent does the availability of care affect access?
How do we define nature or nurture? What do we mean when we talk about the human?
What are the borders between species?
To what extent are those ideals able to be resisted?
Are they means of reinforcing these
existing stereotypes of gender?
Background reading of Stem Cell reading—chapters of science of stem cell research for
“Fertile Ground: Feminists Theorize Infertility.”
Thompson works on pronatalist technology, in situ biological diversity
conservation, infertility in the age of the perfect feminist text
Infertility as a text—to read debates about gender, economics, law, race, etc., a
black box that can be revealed much about culture.
The medicalization of infertility, gender stratification, consumer-oriented business.
Phase 1: burden of infertility vs perpetuating gender stratification and roles;
feminists wrote about infertility as a crisis, rejecting masculinity… more later
Feminists were worried about regulations not keeping up with technology and
various NRT abuses, did not increase reproductive choice, potentially optimistic,
to reduce class differences
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