Monday, November 4, 2013
Salon: The 10 strangest facts about penises, by Tracy Clark-Flory:
Simone de Beauvoir called it “a small person … an alter ego usually more sly … and more clever than the individual.” Leonardo da Vinci said it “has dealings with human intelligence and sometimes displays an intelligence of its own.” Sophocles said that having one was to be “chained to a madman.”
These great thinkers were referring so exasperatedly, so powerlessly, to none other than the penis. That’s a lot of hype for a body part that can “be seen as something the Creator doodled in an idle moment,” as Tom Hickman puts it in the new book, “God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis.” . . .
Monday, August 12, 2013
The Los Angeles Times - op-ed: Assisted reproduction: When does a father become one?, by Naomi Cahn & June Carbone:
A bill in the California Senate would add to uncertainty about parenthood in cases of donated sperm.
When does a man become a father — the legally recognized parent of a child, responsible for support and eligible for custody? Historically, parenthood has involved something more than simply a biological connection. In some eras that meant the law recognized only fathers who married the mothers. Today, recognition extends to unmarried parents who raise a child together.
The new question on the table is whether it extends to a man who donates sperm to a woman and establishes a relationship with the child. . . .
Saturday, July 6, 2013
The Guardian UK: Why I Support Women's Access to Safe, Legal Abortion, by Rob Delaney:
I so love my kids, I can be envious of my wife for carrying them when pregnant. But I care about her right to choose just as much
I support a woman's right to safe, legal abortion because centuries of history shows us that women are going to get abortion whether they are safe and legal or not. And when they're not safe and legal, these women will often die terrible or be damaged irreparably. . . .
Sunday, June 16, 2013
The New York Times - Well blog: A Different Kind of Fatherhood, by David Tuller:
I came out long before gay men yearned for weddings, much less baby showers. In 1979, when I was 22, New York offered young men like me many freedoms, including the freedom to not have to propagate. Like many other gay men — and like many straight men — I had not been close to my own father. I could not imagine wiping runny noses, attending parent-teacher conferences or playing Candy Land.
In my 30s I moved to San Francisco and, to my surprise, found myself contemplating parenthood. . . .
Friday, June 7, 2013
I. Glenn Cohen and Travis G. Coan (both of Harvard Law School) have posted Can You Buy Sperm Donor Identification? An Experiment. Here is the abstract:
In the United States, most sperm donations are anonymous. By contrast, many developed nations require sperm donors to be identified, typically requiring new sperm (and egg) donors to put identifying information into a registry that is made available to a donor-conceived child once they reach the age of 18. Recently, advocates have pressed U.S. states to adopt these registries as well, and state legislatures have indicated openness to the idea. This study re-lies on a self-selected convenience sample to experimentally examine the economic implications of adopting a mandatory sperm donor identification regime in the U.S. Our results support the hypothesis that subjects in the treatment (non-anonymity) condition need to be paid significantly more, on average, to donate their sperm. When restricting our attention to only those subjects that would ever actually consider donating sperm, we find that individuals in the control condition are willing-to-accept an average of $$43 to donate, while individuals in the treatment group are willing-to-accept an aver-age of $74. These estimates suggest that it would cost roughly $31 per sperm donation, at least in our sample, to require donors to be identified. This price differential roughly corresponds to that of a major U.S. sperm bank that operates both an anonymous and identify release programs in terms of what they pay donors.
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Los Angeles Times - op-ed: A birth control double standard, by Meg Waite Clayton:
Condoms are readily available without identification. Why not Plan B?
In the uproar about making the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B available to our daughters, there has been no similar outcry about condoms and our sons. Anyone of any age can walk into a drugstore — as well as most grocery and big-box stores — and buy condoms. . . .
Monday, May 13, 2013
The current attention to the “end of men” is occurring as men’s role as biological fathers is becoming radically deemphasized through assisted reproductive technologies and alternative family formation. As other historians have noted, since the nineteenth century, there have been serial crises of masculinity in the United States, in which the perceived loss of power by white middle-class heterosexual men has been decried. This essay, written for an on-line forum considering Hanna Rosin's The End of Men, analyzes the current crisis in the context of earlier explorations of the biological end of men, from early twentieth century feminist utopian fiction to lesbian dreams of virgin birth in the 1970s.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Medical News Today: Reproductive Coercion Common in Abusive Relationships, by Kelly Fitzgerald:
Adolescent girls and women should now be screened for reproductive coercion, a form of abuse that occurs when male partners sabotage their contraception intentionally.
This form of abuse, known as reproductive coercion, can manifest in several ways, such as deliberately giving a partner a sexually transmitted disease (STIs), forcing a partner to have an undesired abortion or pregnancy, or seizing control of a woman's contraceptive pills. . . .
Monday, December 17, 2012
Udo Schuklenk (Queen’s University) has posted Europe Debates Circumcision...And What About the Child's Best Interest? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Editorial discusses the ethics of male circumcision on the background of current debates within various European countries about this practice.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Los Angeles Times: Restaurateur accused of poisoning girlfriend to cause miscarriage, by Andrew Blankstein:
Joshua Woodward, an investor in Los Angeles and Miami restaurants, pleads not guilty to four counts of attempted murder.
A prominent restaurateur pleaded not guilty Wednesday to multiple counts of attempted murder after prosecutors said he tried to cause his pregnant girlfriend to miscarry by poisoning her with a substance known to induce labor. . . .
H/T: Amanda Zoda & Carol Sanger
Saturday, August 25, 2012
The New York Times op-ed: Men, Who Needs Them?, by Greg Hampikian:
Mammals are named after their defining characteristic, the glands capable of sustaining a life for years after birth — glands that are functional only in the female. And yet while the term “mammal” is based on an objective analysis of shared traits, the genus name for human beings, Homo, reflects an 18th-century masculine bias in science.
That bias, however, is becoming harder to sustain, as men become less relevant to both reproduction and parenting. Women aren’t just becoming men’s equals. It’s increasingly clear that “mankind” itself is a gross misnomer: an uninterrupted, intimate and essential maternal connection defines our species. . . .
Thursday, August 23, 2012
CBS News – Healthpop.com: Experimental cancer drug makes mice infertile without side effects, scientists claim male birth control discovery, by Ryan Jaslow:
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The Chicago Tribune/Reuters: German court bans circumcision of young boys:
Jewish and Muslim groups protested on Wednesday after a German court banned the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons in the first ruling of its kind in the country.
The court in the western city of Cologne handed down the decision on Tuesday in the case of a doctor prosecuted for circumcising a four-year-old Muslim boy who had to be treated two days later for post-operative bleeding. . . .
Friday, June 15, 2012
Salon.com: Stop our sperm, please, by Irin Carmon:
Meet the men who want better male birth control -- and want it badly
Lenny Smalls, whose Facebook page says he lives in Chicago and works as a transportation analyst, is very interested in long-acting, reversible male contraception. According to his posts on a fan page for one form being tested — known as RISUG or Vasalgel — Smalls is sufficiently frustrated by the pace of such drugs coming to the U.S. market to have begun personally testing an Indonesian herbal product called gandarusa. . . .
Sunday, March 18, 2012
NPR Health blog: In Protest, Democrats Zero In On Men's Reproductive Health, by Teresa Tomassoni:
For perhaps the first time in recent history, male reproductive health is at the forefront of political debate.
In at least six states, lawmakers — all women and all Democrats — have proposed bills or amendments in the last few weeks that aim to regulate a man's access to reproductive health care. It's their way of responding to the ongoing debate around contraception and abortion, said Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University.
Some would prohibit men from getting vasectomies, such as Georgia's House Bill 1116, which states:
"Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies.". . .
Friday, March 2, 2012
The Huffington Post: Wilmington City Council Passes Resolution Urging 'Personhood' Rights For Sperm, by Luke Johnson:
The Wilmington City Council has a message for men -- sperm are people, too.
The council for Delaware's largest city passed a resolution by an 8-4 vote Thursday calling on the Delaware legislature, other state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to pass laws granting "personhood" rights to eggs and sperm. The resolution was authored by councilwoman Loretta Walsh as a protest in the current battle over women's health care access. . . .
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Huffington Post: Where Are the Men?, by Robert Walker:
All across America, women are responding to the latest attacks on their reproductive health and rights. Female legislators, leading feminists and concerned women everywhere are fighting back. Good for them, but where are the men?
On the other side of the reproductive divide, there is no shortage of men. There was no shortage of men when a U.S. House oversight committee last week pulled together a panel of "expert" witnesses to testify against requiring health insurers to cover contraceptives for women who work for religiously-affiliated organizations. The majority on the committee called 11 witnesses. They were all men. That's why women on the committee walked out in protest. . . .
Monday, January 30, 2012
BBC News: Testicular zap 'may stop sperm':
A dose of ultrasound to the testicles can stop the production of sperm, according to researchers investigating a new form of contraception.
A study on rats published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology showed that sound waves could be used to reduce sperm counts to levels that would cause infertility in humans.
Researchers described ultrasound as a "promising candidate" in contraception. . . .
Friday, January 27, 2012
I. Glenn Cohen (Harvard Law School) has posted Rethinking Sperm-Donor Anonymity: Of Changed Selves, Non-Identity, and One-Night Stands on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In the United States, a movement urging legally prohibiting sperm-donor anonymity is rapidly gaining steam. In her forthcoming article in this journal, The New Kinship, and in her wonderful book, Test Tube Families, Naomi Cahn is among this movement’s most passionate and thoughtful supporters. She argues for mandatory sperm-donor registries of the type in place in Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Australian states of Victoria and Western Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, and, most recently, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. The UK system is typical in requiring new sperm (and egg) donors to put identifying information into a registry and providing that a donor-conceived child “is entitled to request and receive their donor’s name and last known address, once they reach the age of 18.”
In this Article, I explain why the arguments for these registries fail, using Cahn’s Article as my jumping off point.
I demonstrate four problems with the arguments she offers for eliminating anonymous sperm donation: (1) Her argument for harm to sperm donor and recipient parents fails in light of the availability of open-identity programs for those who want them, such that she imposes a one-size-fits-all solution where it would be better to let sperm donor and recipients parents choose for themselves. (2) Her argument for harm to children that result from anonymous sperm donation fails for reasons relating to the Non-Identity Problem. This portion of the Article summarizes work I have done elsewhere, most in-depth in Regulating Reproduction: The Problem With Best Interests, 96 Minn. L. Rev. _ (forthcoming, 2011), http://ssrn.com/abstract=1955292, and Beyond Best Interests, 96 Minn. L. Rev. _ (forthcoming, 2012 and up on SSRN soon). (3) She has sub silentio privileged analogies to adoption over analogies to coital reproduction. When the latter analogy is considered, her argument is weakened. I show this through a Swiftian Modest Proposal of a Misattributed-Paternity and One-Night-Stand Registry paralleling the one she defends for sperm donation. (4) The argument may not go far enough even on its own terms in endorsing only a “passive” registry in which children have to reach out to determine if they were donor conceived, rather than an “active” registry that would reach out to them. If we recoil from such active registries, that is a reason to re-examine the reasons in favor of the less effective passive ones.
For the reasons discussed, despite my admiration for this paper and all of Cahn’s work, I am not persuaded by the argument for adopting a mandatory sperm-donor identification registry of the kind in place elsewhere in the world. Indeed, I think these registries should be eliminated, not replicated. At a moment in which the idea of these registries is rapidly gaining popularity and attention in the United States, I hope my dissenting voice will be heeded.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The New York Times: Thousands Sterilized, a State Weighs Restitution, by Kim Severson:
Charles Holt, 62, spreads a cache of vintage government records across his trailer floor. They are the stark facts of his state-ordered sterilization.
The reports begin when he was barely a teenager, fighting at school and masturbating openly. A social worker wrote that he and his parents were of “rather low mentality.” Mr. Holt was sent to a state home for people with mental and emotional problems. In 1968, when he was ready to get out and start life as an adult, the Eugenics Board of North Carolina ruled that he should first have a vasectomy. . . .