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Gender and Bioethics Intertwined

[journal article]

Spilker, Kristin; Lie, Merete

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Abstract The article analyses the debate on egg donation in Norway using source material from the parliamentary debate of amendments to the Biotechnology Law. In both policy documents on bioethics and the Biotechnology Law, gender is not a spoken issue, but bringing egg and sperm directly to the fore highlights how gender is implicated in bioethics debates. Gender perceptions affect the understanding of `what egg and sperm may do' at the same time as the debate sets established perceptions of gender in motion. In Norway, gender equality is a valid and important premise within the general political debate. It is, however, contested as a valid argument in the context of egg donation, which therefore becomes a field of negotiations about the limits of equal opportunities. The article analyses the egg donation debate as a process of cultural co-production and asks how the Norwegian emphasis on gender equality influences the debate on egg donation and, vice versa, how debates of assisted reproductive technology (ART) reopen debates on gender in relation to reproduction and parenthood.
Keywords gender
Free Keywords assisted reproductive technology; bioethics; cultural studies; egg donation; equal opportunities; ethnographies of fertility; feminism; motherhood; parenthood;
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 327-340
Journal European Journal of Women's Studies, 14 (2007) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)