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Reproductive Technologies: Gender, Motherhood and Medicine


CAD $30.99

Reproductive Technologies: Gender, Motherhood and Medicine

Michelle Stanworth

ISBN: 978-0-745-60209-7 February 1982 Polity 220 Pages


The creation of 'test-tube babies' acted as a spur to public debate about the implications of research on embryos, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and the whole range of technologies concerned with human reproduction. The scope of reproductive technologies examined in this volume - from techniques for the medical 'management' of childbirth, to genetic engineering - is such that few women in the western world, and smaller and smaller numbers in the third world, escape their influence. What then is their impact: on the process of reproduction, on family life and particularly on women?

'Reproductive Technologies' is a remarkable collection of original essays which attempts to place the current controversy over reproductive technologies in a political, legal and economic context. Contributors - including Lesley Doyal, Ann Oakley, Ros Petchesky, Carol Smart, Hilary Rose, and Naomi Pfeffer - examine systematically the technologies that have sparked off these debates. They explore the problem of infertility which is used to validate reproductive technologies; the way assumptions about the family and about biological parenthood continue to structure the arguments for and against; the impact of the medicalization of childbirth; the way debates are embedded in changing conceptions of paternal rights, maternal rights and embryo rights; the problems of providing adequate health care for women; and, above all, the urgency with which these issues raise problems about the accountability of science.

Introduction 1. From Walking Wombs to Test-Tube Babies: Ann Oakley; Thomas Coram Research Unit. 2. New Techniq ues and Old Controversies (the focus of public concern over AID and IVF): Naomi Pfeffer; University of Essex. 3. Infertility and Health Care for Women: Lesley Doyal; North London Polytechnic. 4. Surrogacy: Juliette Zipper; University of Amsterdam and Selma Sevenhuijsen; University of Amsterdam. 5. Fetal Image s: Ultrasound and Reproductive Consciousness: Rosalind Petchesky; Bryn Mawr College. 6. Paternity a nd Maternity: Carol Smart; University of Warwick. 7. Embryo Righ ts and Reproductive Rights: Janet Gallagher; Hampshire College. 8. Deconstruct ion of Motherhood: Michelle Stanworth, Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. 9. Victorian V alues in the Test-Tube: Science and Women's Subordination: Hilary Rose; University of Bradford.
1. The most thoughtful and scholarly reassessment of debates about reproductive technology since Warnock. It succeeds in placing the current controversy in a political, legal and economic context. 2. While by no means Luddite in its orientation, `Reproductive Technologies' develops a feminist response to the issues posed by these technologies which is sensitive to the history of the women's movement and the diversity of women's experience. 3. Endorsement by Wendy Savage.