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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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Embodied Technology

Embodied Technology

(p.156) Chapter 9 Embodied Technology
The Elusive Embryo

Gay Becker

University of California Press

This chapter explores the new reproductive technologies that emphasize transformation, and, in doing so, naturalize technology. They allow people to view embryos and fetuses as children. As couples become immersed in a complex process, the embryos become children who are part of them. The specific attributes of new reproductive technologies contribute to the embodiment of embryos. Two key components associated with these technologies are visualization, as in the use of ultrasound and other technologies that reveal what was previously invisible, and ritual. These phenomena imbue the process with cultural meaning, enabling embryos to become embodied by bridging what happens inside and outside the body and making it more accessible, experientially, to women. The ability to visualize aspects of medical procedures has altered the experience of infertility treatment.

Keywords:   new reproductive technologies, embryos, visualization, ritual, infertility treatment

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