Anticipating infertility: Egg freezing, genetic preservation, and risk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article discusses the new reproductive technology of egg freezing in the context of existing literature on gender, medicalization, and infertility. What is unique about this technology is its use by women who are not currently infertile but who may anticipate a future diagnosis. This circumstance gives rise to a new ontological category of "anticipated infertility." The author draws on participant observation and a qualitative analysis of scientific, mainstream, and marketing literature to identify and compare the representation of two different candidates for egg freezing: women with cancer and healthy young women. Although both populations experience anticipated infertility, their dichotomous portrayals as appropriate candidates are demonstrative of gender norms linking women to motherhood. Egg freezing is a concise illustration of how the medicalization of women's bodies and bodily processes masks a host of cultural anxieties about aging, illness, reproduction, and risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-545
Number of pages20
JournalGender and Society
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 11 2010

Fingerprint

medicalization
candidacy
gender
motherhood
participant observation
cancer
marketing
illness
Infertility
Egg
anxiety
experience
literature
Medicalization
Illness
Mask
Portrayal
Marketing
Reproductive Technology
Cancer

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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Anticipating infertility : Egg freezing, genetic preservation, and risk. / Martin, Lauren Jade.

In: Gender and Society, Vol. 24, No. 4, 11.08.2010, p. 526-545.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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