Exposing Men: The Science and Politics of Male Reproduction by Cynthia R. Daniels

By Cynthia R. Daniels

Exposing males examines how beliefs of masculinity have lengthy skewed our societal--and scientific--understanding of 1 of the pillars of male identification: reproductive health and wellbeing. in simple terms with the hot public publicity of men's reproductive issues has the health and wellbeing of the male physique been thrown into query, and in addition to it deeper masculine beliefs. while as soon as men's sexual and reproductive talents have been the main taboo of issues, this day erectile disorder is a multi-billion buck company, and journal articles trumpet male reproductive decline with headlines akin to "You're part the fellow Your Father Was." Cynthia R. Daniels casts a gimlet eye on our international of plummeting sperm counts, spiking reproductive cancers, sperm banks, and pharmacological therapies for impotence in an effort to investigate the real nation of male wellbeing and fitness. What she reveals is male reproductive structures broken through pollution and battle, and facts piling up that males via sperm, move on damage to the youngsters they father. but, regardless of the proof that men's healthiness, up to women's, considerably impacts the power in their offspring, Daniels additionally sees a society protecting directly to outmoded assumptions, one within which males forget about blatant healthiness hazards as they try to reside as much as antiquated principles of manliness.

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Extra info for Exposing Men: The Science and Politics of Male Reproduction

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Women’s biology produced a temperament that suited her for caregiving, and male biology produced in men a lesser emotional investment in reproduction. Despite scientific recognition of the equivalence of male and female genetic contributions to conception, the larger accepted paradigm presumed fundamental biological differences on both hormonal and emotional levels. From the 1950s through the mid-1970s, sociobiology constructed a new story of reproductive difference. Some argued that the very size of the reproductive cells offered evidence for differing reproductive strategies by men and women.

As earlier chapters have suggested, the initial assessments of male reproductive health focused either on male “underproduction” or on “overproduction”—either treatment of male infertility or, even more marginally, control of male fertility through male birth control methods. As the one of the earliest analysts of male infertility observed: Now, when a man is unable to beget children by his wife, although his virility is unimpaired, he is said in common parlance to have a cold nature. To my mind, however, it would be more apt to say that no living animalcules will be found in the seed of such a man, or that, should any living animalcules be found in it, they are too weakly to survive long enough in the womb.

As Farley has observed, reproductive scientists cannot be divorced from their social contexts: “The biological theories to which the nineteenth-century scientists subscribed, an almost sexless egg-laying female and a reproductively insignificant energizing male, were as much a reflection of . . ”57 A host of social institutions flowed from the assumptions underneath this biological reality: Men’s limitless sexual desire must be constrained by marriage and family structure. Women’s primary role lay in conceiving, bearing, and rearing children.

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