"Changing Human Reproduction" demonstrates that conception and birth are as much social as biological events. The authors stress the importance of viewing human reproduction not only as a biological event but also as social reproduction. The book argues that systematic research into the social aspects of reproduction is possible, and is being done; that the neglect of social research has led to the failure to make necessary provisions for the social consequences of new reproductive techniques. The plight of the involuntarily childless who, having been helped to conceive, find themselves with three, four or more babies illustrates this point clearly. Drawing on methods from history, sociology and anthropology, the contributors analyze the changes which have been initiated by the new reproductive techniques. Our understanding of how babies are conceived, and what it means to be a parent or a relative, have all become more complex.
`Important because it demonstrates plainly the importance of social science perspectives in artificial reproduction, and shows how they may influence ethcial as well as practical considerations. What is so often ignored nowadays is that birth is as much a social event as a biological one, so that biological interventions have social consequences' - Bulletin of Medical Ethics
`A welcome addition to the now considerable literature on the new reproductive technologies' - New Generation
`The chapters, by acknowledged authorities in their fields, in this excellent book are taken from papers given at the 1990 British Assocition for the Advancement of Science annual conference. The introduction, by Meg Stacey, sets out the need for investigations which expand critical awareness. It also sets out the two broad themes, taken largely from anthropology, of what is natural, and kinship and relatedness, which both implicitly and explicitly are the threads which link the six chapters of the book together. She discusses the way in which social science research has been neglected in the `scientific revolution in human reproduction', the teaming of `real science with obstetrics', and the ways in which it could help form a better understanding of the social and cultural values which will emanate from the new reproductive technologies... The overriding issue in this book is that the medical and scientific new reproductive technologies must begin to address the cultural and social implications of their work' - Sociology