The reproductive body

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The reproductive body

With some of the developments in the twentieth century, there is a possibility of insinuating that different entities regard the body as a key site for cultural, medical, political and social interventions. This position relates to different aspects in life, for instance, ethics, disability, medicine, old age, and work, among other considerations. According to Hancock et al, people take recognition of the body as a terrain through which “…struggle over control and resistance is fought out in contemporary societies.”[1] This struggle is also manifest in the shift towards the recognition of old age and disabilities as epithets of human rights issues rather than deriving the understanding in the welfare or medical perspective[2]. With these considerations, there is a possibility of arguing that the shifts in the understanding of the body by contemporary society has an effect on the cultural, ethical as well as medical dispositions.

It is possible to determine that the contemporary society regards the body as problematic for social analysis, cultural and linguistic analysis. This might be due to discussions on issues to do with the body that is present in the moral, political and social life. This presence also determines the sociological orientations of individuals in the society. With these changes, it is possible to determine that ethics fights out the relations that exist between bodies and aesthetics since the focus of most of the people in contemporary society is based on the aspect of self-enhancement. With this consideration, it is also possible to determine that medicine in contemporary society is experiencing a shift that focuses more on the healthy bodies than on diseased bodies. In support of this argument is the development of new reproductive technologies, which not only assists people who might have not been in a position to have children biologically related to them, but also those that might not be willing to go through the process of bearing children naturally.

The emergence of these technologies raises a number of ethical questions that are seemingly difficult for individuals to resolve. The ethical considerations worsen with increases in emerging reproductive assistance technologies, which is presumably increasing the availability of gestational mothers. Some of the main issues that increase the ethical dilemmas include the rights for procreation, the dilemma of whether vitro fertilization is morally acceptable, genetic manipulation and the aspect of surrogate motherhood among other morally challenging issues. These developments also raise issues to do with abortion, of which the proponents in the extreme end support it, arguing that the woman has absolute autonomy over her body. On the other hand, there are those individuals that consider abortion as committing murder, which is something that is not acceptable. These issues raise ethical questions regarding the rights of the unborn child and the rights of the mother.

The other development in issues to do with the functioning of the body in the 20th century is its inclusion in sociological discussions. Sociological interests in discussions about the body emanate from the aspect of its maintenance and its establishment within the precincts of social life. In order for individuals to present themselves as social actors, they are more likely to involve themselves in bodywork or activities that are associated with hygiene, good grooming and the socially determined outlook of perfection[3]. These changes led to the development of Descartes classic statement in the relationship that exists between mid and body. Through the classic statement, there is a possibility of determining that personhood is distinctive from the body of a human being[4]. This leads to the argument that it is impossible for human beings to lose the sense of self no matter the extent of damage to the body. This belief is somewhat related to the aspect of the development of scientific rationality, which, in part, has led to scientific developments on reproduction.

There is a possibility of indicating that the demographic changes taking place in the current society inform the need to respond to some of the changes that come about through aging. According to Descartes’ argument, is possible to insinuate that the reproductive developments brought about by science are only necessary for changing the physical aspects of the body but not the self.  However, it would be impossible to assu.............


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