Chapter

Commodifying Men

Cynthia R. Daniels

in Exposing Men

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195148411
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850990 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148411.003.0012
Commodifying Men

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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.

Keywords: reproductive element; male virility; sperm banking; male infertility; commodification; masculinity

Chapter.  12529 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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