Next STS Inside Out on December 10!

Dec. 2, 2021

Date: Friday, December 10, 2021 - 11:00

The next STS  Inside  Out meeting is on December 10, 2021, 11:00 a.m.–12:50 p.m., in Gender & Women’s Studies Conference Room 100. We will discuss a work-in-progress by Dr. Eric Plemons. RSVP and send any accommodation and dietary requests by December 6 to

The Allegory of the Pregnant Transsexual: IVF as sex-changing technology
Eric Plemons

Abstract: Transgender women have recently been discussed as potential recipients of transplanted uteruses, but this is not the first time that a major change in reproductive technology has led researchers and the public to ask who should benefit from technologically enabled pregnancies. In this chapter-in-progress, I examine a moment in Australia in the 1970/80s when advancements in in vitro fertilization made the potential for transsexual pregnancy possible and, according to many alarmed commentators, something that would happen “any day now.” Drawing on popular media archives, I show how critics of IVF and trans medicine used the figure of “the pregnant transsexual” as a cautionary tale of reproductive experimentalism run amok. She was marshalled to do this work, I argue, because the distaste and anxiety she conjured was one of the few things that could counter the figure often invoked to justify controversial innovations in reproductive technology: that of the suffering, childless woman.

Anthro News Digest date: 12/03/2021