Powers of Conception

Cynthia R. Daniels

in Exposing Men

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195148411
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850990 | DOI:
Powers of Conception

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This chapter examines the first element of reproductive masculinity: the assumption that men are secondary in biological reproduction. It analyzes the history of debates over men's role in human reproduction, from the ancients through to the twentieth century. Biological arguments were often used to justify a social division of reproductive labour between men and women, to assert men's power over reproductive decision making, or to justify women's primary natural responsibility for the work of bearing and raising children. The chapter suggests that biological knowledge of reproduction has been, and remains, inseparable from the social relations of reproduction and the social constructions of masculinity.

Keywords: human reproduction; social division; reproductive labour; social relations; masculinity

Chapter.  6642 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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