Chapter

Genes and Generations

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520224308.003.0005
Genes and Generations

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This chapter explores cultural ideas about natural order, biology, genes, and kinship and examines some of the associated dialogues that emerge when expectations about fertility are disordered. The discussion in this chapter illustrates how science-based models alter explanations and meanings of things. It suggests that the acceptance of science models has confused how people think about natural order and about themselves. It demonstrates a mixture of models. It also addresses the assault of components of the science model (sperm with active flagella) on men's sense of masculinity, and ultimately, on their humanness. In doing so, the chapter also demonstrates that cultural notions of order in the universe are implicit. The study in this chapter describes that women and men express a wide range of opinions about the importance of genes, and those opinions could often be directly related to the extent of their experience with infertility.

Keywords: genes; science model; infertility; biology; sense of masculinity

Chapter.  8000 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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