Ethics, Gender, and the New Reproductive Technologies

Course Code: 
STS 2500-2
Rosalyn Berne

Human reproduction has changed and evolved as technology has addressed the desire to control reproductive capacities and outcomes. Increasingly, through technology, we have many more options and choices for determining who can conceive and gestate a baby, how and with whom. The social-ethical implications are profound. The course begins with a discussion of the reproductive bodily functions of women and men, and then moves to the quandary of infertility. It explores the social construction of parentage and gender roles in reproduction, and the increasing role of technology in fertilization and gestation. The ethical landscape and unintended social consequences of manipulating the reproduction process will be studied and explored with a particular focus on social constructions of gestational roles and gender issues. Critical essays, class participation, team-led discussions presentations and an oral presentation will be used as the basis of course grading.