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Being a Sperm Donor: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Biosociality in Denmark

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Volume 40

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

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Being a Sperm Donor

Masculinity, Sexuality, and Biosociality in Denmark

Sebastian Mohr

198 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-946-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (August 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78920-812-2 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (August 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78533-947-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Being a Sperm Donor is a theoretically elaborate book with some intriguing data and illuminating case studies, which shed light on the complexity of sperm donors’ experiences and motivations… In a field where most empirical studies have focused on the perspectives of women and couples who are recipients of donor sperm, Mohr’s research is a welcome contribution that brings to the fore stories that are rarely heard.” • Medical Anthropology Quarterly

“Mohr is to be commended on having carried out an ethnographic study that is thorough and sensitive.  Not only that, the work shows considerable theoretical ambition in its analysis of biomedical subjectivation at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and assisted reproductive technologies… informed by a comprehensive grasp of kinship, feminist and queer theories.” • Bob Simpson, University of Durham

“An important, original contribution to the anthropology of reproduction. Mohr does an excellent job of presenting multiple, fascinating perspectives on this subject. The ethnographic material is superb and his framing of it is appropriate and convincing.” • Linda Layne, University of Cambridge


What does it mean to be a man in our biomedical day and age? Through ethnographic explorations of the everyday lives of Danish sperm donors, Being a Sperm Donor explores how masculinity and sexuality are reconfigured in a time in which the norms and logics of (reproductive) biomedicine have become ordinary. It investigates men’s moral reasoning regarding donation, their handling of transgressive experiences at the sperm bank, and their negotiations of gender, sexuality, intimacy, and relatedness, showing how the socio-cultural and political dimensions of (reproductive) biomedicine become intertwined with men’s intimate sense of self.

Sebastian Mohr is Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, Karlstad University. As an ethnographer of gender, sexuality, and intimacy, his work explores the intersections of gender, sexuality, and intimacy in the areas of health politics, (digital) health and (reproductive) technology, masculinity, and militarization. He has a special interest in the history of queer ethnography and in how ethnography’s epistemological, methodological, and ethical underpinnings relate to queer-feminist theorizing and empirical research. Sebastian is Managing Editor for NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, Editor at Women, Gender & Research (Kvinder, Køn & Forskning), and on the Editorial Board of Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online. He is Co-Coordinator of the Research Network Sexuality of the European Sociological Association.

Subject: Medical AnthropologyGender Studies and SexualitySociology
Area: Northern Europe


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