The Science and Politics of Male Infertility and Sperm Banking
This chapter explores the third element of reproductive masculinity—the assumption of male virility—through the history and practices of the sperm-banking industry in the United States. It analyzes the social, technological, and economic forces that pushed male infertility into public light at the end of the twentieth century and led to the commodification of sperm. The chapter traces the processes of social deflection that come into play to reinstate ideals of masculinity in the face of the public exposure of male infertility. It also assesses the paradoxical nature of masculine privilege that valorizes sperm as the carrier of ideal human traits but still measures a man by his fertility.
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