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SSN seminar: ‘Motherhood on Ice’ with Marcia Inhorn

SSN seminar: ‘Motherhood on Ice’ with Marcia Inhorn

Event Venue:

Deakin Downtown 727 Collins StreetDocklands, VIC, 3008, Australia ( Map )

Join the SSN as we host visting Professor Marcia Inhorn for a seminar on her latest book that engages myths and stories around reproductive technologies and egg freezing. Marcia will be joined in conversation by Associate Professor Neera Bhatia, a scholar of law, bioethics, health and reproduction, after her talk.

Please RSVP as attending either in person at Deakin Downtown in Melbourne, or online via the Livestream.


Motherhood on Ice: The Mating Gap and Why Women Freeze Their Eggs (NYU Press, 2023), draws upon interviews with more than 150 American women to explore their use of egg freezing as a fertility preservation technology. Their stories show that, contrary to popular belief, egg freezing is rarely about women postponing fertility for the sake of their careers. Rather, the most-educated women are increasingly forced to delay childbearing because they face a mating gap—a lack of eligible, educated, equal partners ready for marriage and parenthood. For these women, egg freezing is a reproductive backstop, a technological attempt to bridge the gap while waiting for the right partner. But it is not an easy choice for most. Their stories reveal why egg freezing is logistically complicated, physically taxing, financially demanding, emotionally draining, and uncertain in its effects. Yet, for many “thirty-something” women, egg freezing offers the future hope of partnership, pregnancy, and parenthood.

Speaker Bio

Marcia C. Inhorn, PhD, MPH, is the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs in the Department of Anthropology and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, where she serves as Chair of the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale. A specialist on Middle Eastern gender and health issues, Inhorn has conducted research on the social impact of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Arab America over the past 35 years. She has published six books in this field. Her books have won the AAA’s Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology, the JMEWS Book Award, the Society for Medical Anthropology’s Eileen Basker Prize, and the AAA’s Diana Forsythe Prize for outstanding feminist anthropological research in the areas of gender, health, science, technology, and biomedicine. She has co-edited or edited over thirteen further books. She is co-editor of the Berghahn Book series on “Fertility, Reproduction, and Sexuality,” associate editor of Global Public Health, former co-editor-in-chief of Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online, and founding editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (JMEWS) of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS).

Discussant Bio

Dr Neera Bhatia is an Associate Professor at Deakin Law School. She holds an LLB (Hons) and Master of Laws from the UK, and a PhD in Law from Deakin University. Neera is the author of Critically Impaired Infants and end of life decision making: Resource allocation and difficult decisions (Routledge, 2015). She has published widely on contemporary issues in health law and bioethics. Her research interests are in end-of-life decision-making for critically ill infants and children, organ donation, voluntary assisted dying, definition and determination of death, and emerging health and reproductive technologies. Neera actively engages with the wider community as an expert commentator in the media on topical issues in health law. She teaches Health Law in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs at Deakin University. Neera is currently the Deputy Chair of the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee, and the Chair of the Faculty Human Ethics Committee. She has served on several clinical ethics committees.


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