Accepted Paper:

Aspiring towards reproductive masculinity: the mobility of donor semen and the regimes of intimate (im)mobility at Danish sperm banks  

Author:

Sebastian Mohr (Karlstad University)

Paper short abstract:

Based on interviews with sperm donors in Denmark and participant observation at Danish sperm banks, this presentation gives insights into how reproductive politics and governance become part of sperm donors' ways of being men through regimes of intimate (im)mobility.

Paper long abstract:

While the semen of Danish sperm donors is very mobile - Danish sperm banks export donor semen globally - the donors themselves are rather immobile. In fact, for donor semen to be globally mobile health regulations restrict donors from being mobile to minimize the risk of disease transmission from sperm donor to donor semen recipient. Regulations, for example, mark certain regions and countries as unsafe due to calculated possibilities of contracting sexually transmitted diseases or other illnesses when travelling there. In addition, the global mobility of donor semen relies on the intimate immobility of sperm donors as they are asked to restrict themselves sexually - both in terms of the number of potential partners as well as the frequency of sexual contacts. Living up to this regime of intimate (im)mobility in order to secure the global mobility of donor semen, sperm donors continuously (re)construct themselves in terms of reproductive masculinity, that is, ways of being men that aspire to biomedically accountable and biopolitically responsible modes of reproduction. This presentation will explore the making of reproductive masculinity by giving an ethnographic account of how regimes of intimate (im)mobility at Danish sperm banks lead men to aspire to the norms and logics of contemporary reproductive biomedicine. Based on interviews with sperm donors in Denmark and participant observation at Danish sperm banks, this presentation gives insights into how reproductive politics and governance become part of sperm donors' ways of being men through regimes of intimate (im)mobility.

Panel P071
Reproductive aspirations and trajectories within movement/settlement across borders