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Gentile, K. (2011). What About the Baby? The New Cult of Domesticity and Media Images of Pregnancy. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 12(1):38-58.

(2011). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 12(1):38-58

Roundtable on Cultural and Personal Representations of Reproductivity Since 9/11

What About the Baby? The New Cult of Domesticity and Media Images of Pregnancy Related Papers

Katie Gentile, Ph.D.

This article explores the explosion of images of pregnancy in the media since 9/11. Recent articles from The New York Times to academic journals have noted a marked increase in the representations of traditional gender roles since 2001, what the author here is comparing with the cult of domesticity that arose in the 19th century as an attempt at gaining cultural organization in a time of upheaval. According to Brown (2005), our culture is also facing the death of modernity—the promise of a better future. The author ties these seemingly disparate ideas together by quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing representations of pregnancy in the media. As the author details, the focus on pregnancy may be an attempt to instill faith in a future that has been rendered uncanny and unknowable by the recent awareness of our potential annihilation. The implications and dangers of this form of temporal linking are discussed.

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