Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Conceptualization of Ageing in India
Keywords:Temporality, Biological Clock, Reproduction, Masculinities, Egg Freezing, Menopause
Through a mapping of field data collected from two parts of India: Hisar in North India and Hyderabad in South India, this paper looks at the ways in which reproductive decline and ageing have become part of the discourse on assisted reproduction in India. The importance of mapping reproductive decline in different clinics and regional spaces highlights certain shared and distinct conflicts. The thematic discussions of the research findings place the privileging of temporalities in an ambivalent relationship with chronological ageing and reproductive decline. The linkages between ageing and infertility/fertility are more marked in the infertility clinic wherein the diagnostic protocols and treatment towards achieving parenthood are evaluated through the prism of social and moral judgements. Rural-urban differences, gendered expectations of familial roles and rules, and lived environments and lifestyles have a huge impact on the use and dissemination of assisted reproductive technologies in India. In this paper, social expectations surrounding fertility, children, and the family become part of the clinical discourse in the administration of assisted reproductive technologies; and carry important implications for ageing and age-related markers of status and role.
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