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Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Culture Change

Posted: 7 Jun 2008  

Marcia Inhorn

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli

University of Haifa

Abstract

In 1978, the world's first "test-tube" baby was born via in vitro fertilization (IVF). The last thirty years have seen the rapid evolution of many other assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), some simple variants of IVF, while others bridge the fields of assisted reproduction and human genomics. As ARTs have evolved over time, so have social, cultural, legal, and ethical responses to them. The major theme of this essay is the extent to which the ARTs are leading to culture change. ARTs ramify in many areas of social life, including the traditional anthropological domains of kinship, marriage and the family, gender, religion, and biomedicine. This review highlights the prolific scholarship of more than fifty anthropologists studying ARTs around the globe. Their research bespeaks both the destabilizing and generative impacts of ARTs at the interface between science and society.

Suggested Citation

Inhorn, Marcia and Birenbaum-Carmeli, Daphna, Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Culture Change. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 37, October 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1141312

Marcia Inhorn (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli

University of Haifa ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

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