The Paradox of Reproductive Technologies
  • Irma van der Ploeg


At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we live in a world that differs in many ways from the one of our ancestors. This book is about two contemporary phenomena, the existence of which these ancestors could not have anticipated, not even in their wildest dreams. The first concerns today’s level of medical-technical control over human reproduction. The possibility of contraception, the creation of embryos in laboratories, or the temporary removal of fetuses from women’s pregnant bellies are impressive technological feats profoundly affecting and altering fundamental human experiences. The second phenomenon defining our times, and equally constituting a radical change, is the level of emancipation and autonomy achieved by women. Never before have they been able to enjoy such relative freedom and opportunity to live their lives the way they want or to choose occupations, lifestyles, and partners. No longer are their lives and identities determined by duties toward husbands and children to the extent they once were, nor is the bearing and rearing of children the unquestionable first and foremost goal of their lives.


Female Body Male Infertility Feminist Theory Discursive Practice Body Politics 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irma van der Ploeg
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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