Confronting Notions of Normalcy

Gay Becker

in The Elusive Embryo

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780520224308
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925243 | DOI:
Confronting Notions of Normalcy

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This chapter discusses medical treatment that heightens women's and men's sense of abnormality and locates it in the body. It also describes infertility, which is the failure to conceive within twelve months of initiating unprotected intercourse. The term infertility is a medical statement that it is abnormal to be unable to reproduce biologically. The medical evaluation analyzes the medical, social, and sexual history, physical examination findings, and laboratory test results to suggest an explanation for a failure to conceive. Often identified in the presence of apparent good health, these factors raise the specter of clinical abnormalities that were previously invisible and unknown. It shares cultural assumptions about what is considered normal as “normalcy.” Women and men strive for normalcy in their daily lives; infertility disrupts that sense of normalcy.

Keywords: sense of abnormality; infertility; normalcy; medical evaluation; unprotected intercourse; clinical abnormalities

Chapter.  5225 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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