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The Stork and the Syringe: A Political History of Reproductive Medicine

The Stork and the Syringe: A Political History of Reproductive Medicine

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  • Naomi Pfeffer
  • Polity Press
  • Paperback
  • 9780745611877
  • 8.98 X 6 X 0.78 inches
  • 0.81 pounds
  • Medical > History
  • English
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Book Description

Reproductive technology is typically discussed in the future tense. Yet doctors have always treated involuntary childlessness. This book looks at the recent history of infertility and the different ways medicine has treated it. It traces the reluctance to allow infertility a past to a new tension that has emerged between utopian and anti-utopian fears about the growth rate and composition of population.

The Stork and the Syringe argues that although doctors' approach to infertility is formed in response to the exigencies of the political economy of medical practice, it also accommodates a persistent gender bias: the tendency to regard women's bodies as inviting intervention and men's as demanding caution. This bias is manifest in relation to gametes (eggs and sperm), sex hormones, in the form of medical investigations and treatment, and the frequency and enthusiasm with which the latter are carried out. Departures from this theme are rare and controversial, as the history of artificial insemination using donor semen demonstrates.

This book is a major contribution to the history and sociology of reproduction, fertility, population and medicine.
The Stork and the Syringe: A Political History of Reproductive Medicine

Author Bio

Formerly Professor of Applied Social Science at London Metropolitan University, Dr. Naomi Pfeffer writes about history, social policy, and medical ethics. She has a longstanding interest in women’s experience of infertility and the politics of reproductive medicine and has written extensively on the subject. 

Her publications include The Stork and the Syringe: Political History of Reproductive Medicine (Polity, 1993) and The Experience of Infertility(co-authored with Anne Woollett, Virago, 1983), among many other pieces for the scholarly community and mainstream media.

 

 

Source: Yale University Press 

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