This major research paper analyzes the representation of women and sexual reproduction in Western oral contraceptive medical texts. Drawing on previous feminist and sociological literature on the medicalization of women’s sexuality and reproduction, I suggest that these texts draw upon a particular discourse that confines/restricts the social construction of women as reproductive entities. This study is based on a discourse analysis of 10 oral contraceptive medical texts, published between 1965 and 2007. Drawing upon the theoretical frameworks of feminism and medicalization, I interrogate how womanhood and motherhood become inexplicably linked and how women are homogenised based on their reproductive capacities. In these texts, women are represented as having a reproductive destiny/inevitability to birth children, their lives are broken up into reproductive stages, and fertility is represented as being very important to women and their bodies. The implications of this representation for women who fall outside and within the confines of what is considered ‘normal’ reproduction are explored.
Carson, Andrea, "The “Reproductive Destiny” of Women: Constructing Women Solely as Reproductive Entities in Oral Contraceptive Medical Texts" (2013). Cultural Analysis and Social Theory Major Research Papers. 3.