Assigned Gender Before Birth : A Critical Discourse Analysis of Desires, Identities, and Ideologies in Online Discussions of Non-medical Sex Selection

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för tema

Abstract: Human reproduction is increasingly commodified, which paves the way for reproductive enhancement rather than just assistance. Non-medical gender/sex selection is one of the reproductive enhancement services that is offered on the fertility market, and it is a practice that raises severe concerns regarding the social and political impact of biotechnologies. Through Critical Discourse Analysis and Biomedicalization theory, I analyse how non-medical gender/sex selection is legitimised in online forum discussions. I argue that gender/sex selection is legitimized through gender- and family-conservative and neoliberal ideologies, and that gender/sex selection can be understood as a tool to enhance the family, increase privilege, and attain hypernormativity.

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