Romancing the Sperm: Shifting Biopolitics and the Making of Modern Families

Diane Tober
Rutgers University Press, November 30, 2018

The 1990s marked a new era in family formation. Increased access to donor sperm enabled single women and lesbian couples to create their families on their own terms, outside the bounds of heterosexual married relationships. However, emerging “alternative” families were not without social and political controversy. Women who chose to have children without male partners faced many challenges in their quest to have children. Despite current wider social acceptance of single people and same sex couples becoming parents, many of these challenges continue.

In Romancing the Sperm, Diane Tober explores the intersections between sperm donation and the broader social and political environment in which “modern families” are created and regulated. Through tangible and intimate stories, this book provides a captivating read for anyone interested in family and kinship, genetics and eugenics, and how ever-expanding assisted reproductive technologies continue to redefine what it means to be human.

About the Author

Diane Tober is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco Institute for Health and Aging.

In addition to her research, she also produced and directed the documentary film, The Perfect Donor.