Biologically infallible? Men’s views on male age‐related fertility decline and sperm freezing
Trends in people having children later in life and increasing evidence of male age‐related fertility decline (ARFD) has led some to propose sperm freezing as a suitable response. However, little consideration has been given to how men might respond to such a proposal, and there has been a paucity of empirical data to inform such a consideration. This paper arises from in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews with men (n = 25) who do not have children but want or expect to have them in the future. Data on men’s perceptions of male ARFD and sperm freezing are presented and discussed in accordance with theoretical and conceptual tools relating to reproductive masculinity, biomedicalisation, gendered risk perception and meanings of sperm and masculinity. It suggests that that men’s overall lack of concern regarding male ARFD and resistance towards ideas of sperm freezing result not only from a lack of exposure to evidence regarding male ARFD but are also shaped by ideals of reproductive masculinity, and may indicate resistance towards the idea of reproductive control. It argues that these positions perpetuate a gender unequal politicisation of ARFD and perpetuate particular gendered subjectivities relating to culpability and responsibility for guarding against risks of ARFD.
open access article
Citation : Law, C. (2020) Biologically infallible? Men’s views on male age‐related fertility decline and sperm freezing. Sociology of Health & Illness, 42 (6), pp. 1409-1423
ISSN : 1467-9566
Peer Reviewed : Yes