Relational Markets in Intimate Goods

37 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2010 Last revised: 12 May 2015

See all articles by Michele Goodwin

Michele Goodwin

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: 2009


This project analyzes how relationships create private markets and might serve as a platform in the domain of biological supply. Goodwin argues that an element of discrimination tends to accompany intimate association markets (adoption and reproductive materials), and evaluates how we should think about that. The article considers whether intimacy has a role in markets and if so, how intimacy functions with regard to supply and demand. The dual statuses of intimacy are employed here - both as a metaphor for relationships and affinity linkages (based on race, gender, or even religion), and also as the term relates to the exclusively yours: biological goods, such as kidneys, ova, sperm, and babies. Goodwin analyzes why we might desire special markets in certain intimate goods. As well, she urges a more nuanced understanding of the social impacts that result from markets based on intimate associations, including discrimination.

Keywords: Law, Society, Economics, Medicine, Health Care, Race, Culture, Politics

Suggested Citation

Goodwin, Michele, Relational Markets in Intimate Goods (2009). Tulsa Law Review, Vol. 44, p. 803, 2009; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-52. Available at SSRN:

Michele Goodwin (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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