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Simon, T.L. (2013). Spoken Through Desire: Maternal Subjectivity and Assisted Reproduction. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 14(4):289-299.

(2013). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 14(4):289-299

Spoken Through Desire: Maternal Subjectivity and Assisted Reproduction

Tracy L. Simon, Psy.D.

This article addresses maternal subjectivity in relation to assisted reproductive technology (ART) and infertility. Although ART is used widely, discourse surrounding this technology remains largely unarticulated in psychoanalytic writing, a silence that may reflect a collective struggle to process its meanings. Engaging the work of Lacan and his emphasis on subversion and desire, I discuss my work with Nora, a woman who undergoes ART for 8 years, and explore the loss and abjection she faces surrounding infertility and ART's repeated failures. I argue that a technology dialogic around reproduction produces an illusion of control and an implicit promise of success that latches onto the notion of motherhood as the idealization of femininity. Reflecting on ART in a cultural and intergenerational context, I explore ART's discourse for both its creative, nonnormative potentials as well as for reproducing constricting, social practices.

[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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