Reproductive regimes: Governing gendered bodies

Ettorre, E and Kingdon, Carol orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5958-9257 (2010) Reproductive regimes: Governing gendered bodies. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Healthcare. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 142-157. ISBN 978-1-349-31135-4

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:


This chapter examines the intersections between biological and social dimensions of gender and health with special reference to reproduction. We explore the notion of reproductive regimes through the consideration of four case studies that exemplify how contemporary women’s reproductive bodies may engage with biomedicine. A major assumption running throughout the chapter is that, whilst the processes of reproduction may emerge as regulatory regimes for all bodies, women more than men have been viewed and managed as ‘foetal containers’. Today there are social and cultural forces that afford pregnant women the opportunity to make ‘choices’ that challenge this notion of passivity. As the principle of patient choice becomes widespread in public and private healthcare systems across the developed countries of the western world and feminism increasingly operates in arenas of entitlement and individualism nevertheless the question remains: How is women’s agency constrained by gendered disciplinary processes in the field of reproduction?

Repository Staff Only: item control page