THE FERTILITY FALLACY: Sexuality in the Post/Pill Age by

THE FERTILITY FALLACY: Sexuality in the Post/Pill Age

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With a human-life amendment in the making and a surrogate mother who reneged making headlines, a book that takes on the moral implications of biological fertility interventions seems opportune, quite up-to-the-minute. But is it up to the mark? This difficult, wide-ranging disquisition is an odd lot of information (on reproductive biochemistry, the vagaries of sexual genetics) in uneasy tandem with a stimulating, sometimes prickly view of contemporary attitudes toward sexuality and reproduction. Dr. Baker suggests that our old attitudes, based on traditional fertility controls, need revision; a new, consciously created morality, separating sex from its evil associations, is required to serve our new circumstances, to confront the dilemmas raised by hormone therapies, in-vitro conceptions, etc. Baker in no way disputes the worth of such developments nor questions continued research in these areas, though some readers may find unsettling her examples of technological potentials: men carrying fetuses, women reproducing only women, transsexuals able to father and then mother offspring. Nor does she consider currently available procedures (e.g., artificial insemination) violations of nature, as their critics charge; if they were violations, she says, they wouldn't work. It is that kind of logic, along with her unique suppositions, that is likely to deflect attention from the prime concerns here, the legitimate issues which Baker examines at some length, drawing on cross-disciplinary sources as diverse as Darwin and Dinnerstein. Can men and women achieve the ""apposition"" of the sexes she espouses and work in improved partnership with nature? More specifically, can a new moral code (out of sync with most religions) and newfangled relationships be arranged by rational debate? This ambitious, intellectually rambunctious work won't settle many arguments--barroom or classroom--but it does bring a voice of its own to intelligence from many sources.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1981
Publisher: Saunders--dist. by Holt, Rinehart & Winston