The Hidden Dynamics of Gender and Technology in Reproductive Care

Chelsea Hube, Wairimũ Njambi

Abstract


Within the last two centuries, birth has undergone a major transformation as doctors took over
and relocated childbirth from the home to the hospital, leaving the reproductive female body
devalued and disempowered. Advancements in medical science have played a fundamental role in
this transformation. As birth has become more and more medicalized, women seem to have lost
their agency and believe the only place to have a successful birth is in a hospital. Reproductive
technologies have certainly had beneficial effects, but they have also turned the mother into an
extension of obstetric machines, communicating a power hierarchy that reinforces patriarchal
control over female bodies. This hierarchy has had long-term repercussions for reproductive bodies,
but it is largely concealed.


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