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The Elusive EmbryoHow Women and Men Approach New Reproductive Technologies$
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Gay Becker

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224308

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224308.001.0001

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Confronting Notions of Normalcy

Confronting Notions of Normalcy

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 2 Confronting Notions of Normalcy
Source:
The Elusive Embryo
Author(s):

Gay Becker

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520224308.003.0003

This chapter discusses medical treatment that heightens women's and men's sense of abnormality and locates it in the body. It also describes infertility, which is the failure to conceive within twelve months of initiating unprotected intercourse. The term infertility is a medical statement that it is abnormal to be unable to reproduce biologically. The medical evaluation analyzes the medical, social, and sexual history, physical examination findings, and laboratory test results to suggest an explanation for a failure to conceive. Often identified in the presence of apparent good health, these factors raise the specter of clinical abnormalities that were previously invisible and unknown. It shares cultural assumptions about what is considered normal as “normalcy.” Women and men strive for normalcy in their daily lives; infertility disrupts that sense of normalcy.

Keywords:   sense of abnormality, infertility, normalcy, medical evaluation, unprotected intercourse, clinical abnormalities

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