Conceiving Masculinity: Male Infertility, Medicine, and by Liberty Walther Barnes

By Liberty Walther Barnes

In Conceiving Masculinity, Liberty Walther Barnes places the realm of male infertility less than the microscope to envision how culturally pervasive notions of gender form our figuring out of affliction, and the way illness affects our own principles approximately gender.

Taking readers within male infertility clinics, and interviewing medical professionals and facing male infertility, Barnes presents a wealthy account of the social facets of the complicated and problematical prognosis of infertility. She explains why males withstand a stigmatizing label like "infertile," and the way males with bad fertility redefine for themselves what it capability to be manly and masculine in a society that prizes male virility. Conceiving Masculinity additionally info how and why males include clinical applied sciences and therapy for infertility.

Broaching a socially taboo subject, Barnes emphasizes that infertility isn't just a women's factor. She indicates how gender and disorder are socially built inside social associations and by way of contributors.

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Extra resources for Conceiving Masculinity: Male Infertility, Medicine, and Identity

Sample text

Two decades ago, men who were diagnosed with azoospermia, or zero sperm count, were told that they would never have biological children. Today, thanks to biopsy techniques that are used to retrieve sperm from the testicles and epididymides, in combination with IVF-ICSI, azoospermic men regularly father children. One of the earliest concerns and criticisms of the use of the lessdeveloped testicular sperm was that offspring would be more likely to have birth defects or developmental disorders than would children conceived from fully developed sperm.

At the individual level of analysis, Chapters 4 and 5 look at how infertility affects patients’ understandings of their own personal gender identities. While the first half of the book emphasizes the static and enduring qualities of gender stereotypes, the second half illustrates the fluidity of personal gender identities and the power of individuals to redefine for themselves what it means to be a man and to be masculine. Chapter 2, “Seminal Work,” provides a historical overview of the emergence of male infertility medicine.

But these two types of specialists have different training backgrounds and see male factor infertility from different vantage points. Not surprisingly, they propose different solutions. Female infertility specialists are board-certified gynecologists who subspecialize in reproductive endocrinology. ”34 The main focus of treatment for REs is the infertile female partner, for whom they develop a management plan. Though REs may “evaluate” men, management of the male patient is not specified within their scope of expertise.

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