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Keylor, R. Apfel, R. (2010). Reply to Katie Gentile. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 11(2):86-88.

(2010). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 11(2):86-88

Reply to Katie Gentile

Rheta Keylor, Ph.D. and Roberta Apfel, M.D.

Dr. Gentile's (this issue) discussion of our article highlights many issues and asks many questions that would provide worthy topics for additional papers elaborating the world of new reproductive technologies and masculine theory. We appreciate her review of the physical treatments women endure while attempting to conceive through invitro fertilization (IVF). In 2002, we also wrote extensively on the subject of the female experience of infertility and its deteriorating impact on physical and mental health over time (Apfel & Keylor, 2002). Dr. Gentile is clearly familiar with the choreography of infertility for women.

However, Dr. Gentile (this issue) faults us for our “phallocentrism,” our lack of a sufficiently modern gender theory, and for discussing primarily heterosexual couples. First, we need to observe that a given paper cannot address all potential questions or topics that are related to the field in question. Our goal was to begin to unpack some of the phallocentric assumptions of assisted reproductive technologies by shifting the relentless focus away from women and by illuminating the psychological phenomenology of male experience with infertility when male factor can be determined to be the reason for the lack of conception. Because 40–45% of infertility is known to be caused by “male factor,” this is not an insignificant problem.

This fairly specific problem arises primarily among heterosexual couples who have been trying for over a year to conceive and have come for help to diagnose the reason.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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