Cover image for The politics of women's biology
Title:
The politics of women's biology
Author:
Hubbard, Ruth, 1924-2016.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Brunswick, [N.J.] : Rutgers University Press, [1990]

©1990
Physical Description:
viii, 229 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780813514895

9780813514901
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library QP81.5 .H83 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

For a range of historical and contemporary issues in eugenics, human evolution, and procreative technology, Ruth Hubbard explains why scientific descriptions and choices should not generalize human, or female, attributes without acknowledging the realities of people's lives. Sophisticated in its analysis, yet not at all technical in its exposition, this book will find a wide readership among feminists, the general public, and the scientific community.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Anyone curious about the feminist critique of science should read this book. Hubbard offers the very best discussion of the various issues surrounding the biology of women, explaining why science is, by its very nature, necessarily political rather than detached and objective as it is typically represented. First, Hubbard considers "How Do We Know," asking about women doing science and rejecting the claim that women are innately unsuited to do science. Then she asks "What Do We Know" and here examines studies of women. She shows how genetics, evolution, and sociobiology have contributed to a social construction of gender. Males and females are simply not very different, she insists throughout; rather, society and academic biology create and reinforce this impression. In the third section, she considers "How Do We Use It," looking especially at reproductive biology. We have no straightforward right to produce babies, and especially not to produce healthy, happy, successful babies of a particular sex. Therefore, Hubbard questions much of the development of reproductive technologies, arguing that women should have choices but should not be pressured by society or by science to choose one particular result or procedure. She worries that the human genome initiative and the availability and legal support for prenatal testing will increasingly force mothers to make "safe" choices. Not all readers will agree with Hubbard's conclusions, but all will learn from her evenhanded and informative treatment of important issues of concern to everyone. J. Maienschein Arizona State University


Choice Review

Anyone curious about the feminist critique of science should read this book. Hubbard offers the very best discussion of the various issues surrounding the biology of women, explaining why science is, by its very nature, necessarily political rather than detached and objective as it is typically represented. First, Hubbard considers "How Do We Know," asking about women doing science and rejecting the claim that women are innately unsuited to do science. Then she asks "What Do We Know" and here examines studies of women. She shows how genetics, evolution, and sociobiology have contributed to a social construction of gender. Males and females are simply not very different, she insists throughout; rather, society and academic biology create and reinforce this impression. In the third section, she considers "How Do We Use It," looking especially at reproductive biology. We have no straightforward right to produce babies, and especially not to produce healthy, happy, successful babies of a particular sex. Therefore, Hubbard questions much of the development of reproductive technologies, arguing that women should have choices but should not be pressured by society or by science to choose one particular result or procedure. She worries that the human genome initiative and the availability and legal support for prenatal testing will increasingly force mothers to make "safe" choices. Not all readers will agree with Hubbard's conclusions, but all will learn from her evenhanded and informative treatment of important issues of concern to everyone. J. Maienschein Arizona State University


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