2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Reproduction, Birth, and Power


Winter 2012 quarter

Laura Citrin social psychology, gender and women's studies , Carolyn Prouty health science, public health, bioethics
Fields of Study
biology, gender and women's studies, health, history, physiology, psychology and sociology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Medicine, midwifery, nursing, sociology, psychology, or public health, as well as those interested in the personal and societal issues related to reproduction and birth.

Why is the rate of caesarian section births rising? What are the ethical implications when parents choose for certain traits in embryo selection? How do our ideas of masculinity and femininity shape male and female reproductive health? How is infertility, abortion, and maternal mortality experienced differently across race and class? This program will explore the sociological, psychological, historical, political, and ethical issues related to reproduction and childbirth, mainly in the US, but we look at the global manifestations of these issues as well. We will learn basic female and male reproductive anatomy and physiology in humans, including the physical processes involved in birth.

Through lecture, seminar, film, reading and discussion stimulated by multiple guest speakers from the community, students will examine such topics as conception, pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period; ethical issues in fertility (including infertility) and obstetrics; power and hierarchy in reproductive health care; and breakthroughs in the technologies of reproduction. Students can expect to read and analyze primary scientific and social science literature, academic and popular texts, and to learn to recognize and think critically about their own evolving perspectives surrounding reproduction and birth.

Advertised Schedule
11a-3p Mon; 9a-1p Wed; 10a-4p Thurs.
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 1st, 2011 This program has changed to all-level.
October 18th, 2011 New offering added.