As we enter the twenty-first century, a number of medical, environmental and social changes have profoundly affected human reproduction. This book discusses some of the more dramatic changes in an accessible manner, illustrating the ways in which human biology and culture can affect fertility and providing a unique interdisciplinary perspective on the subject. Topics include medical technologies that equip us with potential cures for many causes of infertility; diseases such as AIDS that have a devastating impact on the reproductive and social lives of humans, particularly in areas with limited access to medical care; increasing industrialisation and the development of fabricated materials that pollute our environment in unforeseen ways with possibly devastating effects on human health and fertility; and, finally, social revolutions that profoundly alter human relationships, such as non-marital unions between heterosexual couples, same-sex relationships, adoption and surrogacy which are becoming increasingly common.
• Uniquely combines data from anthropology, medicine, genetics and social sciences for the study of infertility • Includes up-to-date reviews about assisted reproductive technologies, the genetics of infertility and the effects of environmental pollutants on infertility • Contains information on the impact on human fertility of the social revolutions that are profoundly altering human relationships, such as same-sex relationships, adoption and surrogacy
1. Introduction G. R. Bentley and C. G. Nicholas Mascie-Taylor; Part I. Biomedical Perspectives on Fertility: 2. Reproductive possibilities for infertile couples: present and future S. Fishel, K. Dowell and S. Thornton; 3. Genetic influences on human infertility A. H. Bittles and P. L. Matson; Part II. Environmental Influences on Fertility: 4. Environmental pollutants and fertility G. R. Bentley; 5. From STD epidemics to AIDS: a socio-demographic and epidemiologic perspective on Sub-Saharan Africa J. C. Caldwell and P. Caldwell; Part III. Social Perspectives on Infertility: 6. Voluntary childlessness: trends and implications F. McAllister and L. Clarke; 7. Sexual orientation and fertility C. J. Patterson and L. V. Friel.
' … useful to professionals and students.' Human Fertility
'Overall, this is an excellent overview of contemporary infertility issues, well written and engaging.' Journal of Biosocial Sciences