Reconceiving the Second Sex: Men, Masculinity, and Reproduction | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Reconceiving the Second Sex: Men, Masculinity, and Reproduction

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Volume 12

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

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Reconceiving the Second Sex

Men, Masculinity, and Reproduction

Edited by Marcia C. Inhorn, Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, Helene Goldberg and Maruska la Cour Mosegaard

402 pages, 8 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-472-2 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (August 2009)

ISBN  978-1-84545-473-9 $39.95/£31.95 / Pb / Published (August 2009)

eISBN 978-0-85745-536-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®



“These researchers hail from four continents, thus providing a cross-cultural perspective as they give voice to men's experiences in the process of reproduction. The contributors use a variety of methodological approaches, including content analysis, participant observation, in-depth interviewing, reproductive history intakes, and survey questionnaires. The result is a comprehensive, engaging volume that will certainly trigger additional interest and research in this heretofore ignored aspect of men's lives. Highly recommended.” • Choice

“Overall, there is a well-balanced mix of ethnography and theory that engages the reader throughout the volume…[The book] is successful in challenging assumptions and stereotypes surrounding men’s involvement in reproduction and demonstrating that the topic of men and reproduction has been neglected by social scientific study thus far…[and] represents an important initial text on a subject deserving of further attention in the social sciences.” • The Journal of Biosocial Science

“The chapters in this volume demonstrate the vast variety of ways men across the globe intersect with reproduction… In the Introduction, the editors highlighted the absence of men’s reproductive lives from social science research. In this volume they do much to bring men back in to the reproductive spotlight.” • Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

ldquo;Whilst anthropologists acknowledge men’s sexuality, we tend to view men as disengaged from reproduction, and to see their power as lying elsewhere in social life. This  exceptionally well edited collection of fourteen stimulating essays attempts to redress this imbalance, by analyzing men’s complex, varied, and ever-changing reproductive lives…the collection offers an excellent starting-point for a potentially rewarding intellectual endeavour.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“The book is logically structured, clearly organised and well presented. The breadth and depth of insight provided ensures that it covers all key areas of debates in relation to infertility, reproduction and the links to men and masculinities. In addition, the range of geographical regions that the studies are drawn from ensures that nuanced consideration is given to how localised cultural discourses intersect with gendered conceptualisations of reproductive techniques in a global context.” • Sociology of Health and Illness

“…an overdue first step in recognizing that men’s role in contemporary human reproduction – from their gametes to their psyches – has been a neglected realm of scientific and scholarly pursuit.” • Robert D. Nachtigall, M.D., Institute for Health and Aging, University of California, San Francisco


Extensive social science research, particularly by anthropologists, has explored women’s reproductive lives, their use of reproductive technologies, and their experiences as mothers and nurturers of children. Meanwhile, few if any volumes have explored men’s reproductive concerns or contributions to women’s reproductive health: Men are clearly viewed as the “second sex” in reproduction. This volume argues that the marginalization of men is an oversight of considerable proportions. It sheds new light on male reproduction from a cross-cultural, global perspective, focusing not only upon men in Europe and America but also those in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Both heterosexual and homosexual, married and unmarried men are featured in this volume, which assesses concerns ranging from masculinity and sexuality to childbirth and fatherhood.

Marcia C. Inhorn is William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs in the Department of Anthropology and the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. She is also the past-president of the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. A specialist on infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in the Muslim Middle East, she is the author or editor of six books on the subject.

Maruska la Cour Mosegaard is a Social Anthropologist and has recently finished research on homosexual fatherhood in Denmark. She is currently working at KVINFO, the Danish Center of Information on Women and Gender Research. She is coauthor of a children’s book that introduces the various ways children today come into being in single-parent, heterosexual, and homosexual families; it will appear in December 2008 in both Danish and Swedish.

Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen is a Social Anthropologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. She has done extensive research into infertility, reproductive technologies and kinship in Denmark. In 1998 she received a prize for the work relating to her PhD thesis, Stories of Coming into Being: Childlessness, Procreative Technologies and Kinship in Denmark.

Helene Goldberg is a Social Anthropologist whose research on male infertility in Israel has won several prizes. She is associated with the Department of Health Development in Guldborgsund, Denmark, where she focuses on health behavior and lifestyle illnesses.

Subject: Medical AnthropologyGender Studies and Sexuality


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