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Gender, kinship and assisted reproductive technologies: future directions after 30 years of research

Jérôme Courduriès, Cathy Herbrand

This volume of Enfances Familles Générations (Childhood Families Generations) looks at the current issues raised by the advent and proliferation of assisted reproductive tech­nologies with a particular focus on kinship and gender. In the contemporary globalised world, a range of reproductive possibilities are now available, many of which raise im­portant socio-anthropological questions related to the balance of power inherent in such interactions, the different practices and regulations involved in the delivery of ART and the individual and cultural significance of these practices. These issues have generated a rich and extensive body of literature over the past thirty years, particularly in English language scholarship. This introductory paper provides a reminder of these debates and seeks to foster dialogue with respect to work across different disciplines, by underscoring their respective contributions, particularly those in English- and French-language litera­ture. Beginning with the summarizing of the major issues and contributions stemming from ART studies with respect to gender and parenthood, we shall underline the issues that are yet to be resolved and that, in our opinion, warrant further investigation. The main line of our argument is that, based on available literature and on social science re­search, emphasis must be placed on gender as inextricably linked to the experience and the study of assisted reproductive technologies.