In a new book titled Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm, sociologist Rene Almeling challenges the rhetoric of gamete "donation" while tracing how these emerging markets are shaped by gender. This work seems as though it will provide an important contribution to economic and medical sociology, bioethics, and feminist scholarship. University of California Press describes the book this way:
Unimaginable until the twentieth century, the clinical practice of transferring eggs and sperm from body to body is now the basis of a bustling market. In Sex Cells, Rene Almeling provides an inside look at how egg agencies and sperm banks do business. Although both men and women are usually drawn to donation for financial reasons, Almeling finds that clinics encourage sperm donors to think of the payments as remuneration for an easy "job." Women receive more money but are urged to regard egg donation in feminine terms, as the ultimate "gift" from one woman to another. Sex Cells shows how the gendered framing of paid donation, as either a job or a gift, not only influences the structure of the market, but also profoundly affects the individuals whose genetic material is being purchased.
For more info or to buy the book in hardback, paperback or electronic form, see the University of California Press.
Previously on Biopolitical Times:
Posted in Assisted Reproduction, Egg Retrieval, Emily Beitiks' Blog Posts , Reproductive Justice, Health & Rights
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