University of Cambridge > > Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum > Globalization and Gametes: Reproductive Tourism, Islamic Bioethics, and Middle Eastern Modernity

Globalization and Gametes: Reproductive Tourism, Islamic Bioethics, and Middle Eastern Modernity

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Zeynep Gurtin-Broadbent.

chaired by Prof. Marilyn Strathern

What motivates the global movements of infertile people searching for assisted reproductive technologies and human gametes? Inspired by recent developments in globalization theory, medical anthropology, and science and technology studies, this paper examines the new global phenomenon of “reproductive tourism”, defined as travel in the pursuit of assisted reproductive technologies, usually from one country to another. In the Muslim Middle East, Islamic bioethical attitudes toward bodily commodification and human gamete donation pose both constraints on and opportunities for reproductive tourism, particularly between Sunni- and Shia-dominant societies. Based on ethnographic research carried out in “global Dubai” and three other Middle Eastern sites, this paper will argue that reproductive tourism is an under-theorized manifestation of Middle Eastern modernity, and that such modernity is enacted, contrary to neo-orientalist stereotypes, in the realm of Middle Eastern gender relations and masculinity.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum series.

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