Gender, Genetics, and Generation: Reformulating Biology in Lesbian Kinship

Peer Reviewed

Essay Excerpt

[T]his article is an exploration of the ways in which many lesbian mothers employ notions of biology, in the context of donor insemination, to articulate their own sense of uniquely lesbian kinship. I offer, then, an ethnographic reading of specific kinds of claims I have encountered in recent lesbian-feminist writings, newspaper articles, court cases, and informal conversations. I must stress that these particular articulations of lesbian familial desire in no way offer a "representative" stance on parenting within lesbian and gay communities.' On the one hand, the question of whether or not to become a parent has a long and complicated history for many gay men and lesbians; for lesbians in particular, the centrality of motherhood to American cultural narratives of womanhood has long made mothering a particularly potent site of contestation. Current articulations of the radical potential of lesbian families must be placed within the context of continuing debates over reproductive "choice" - and the choice not to mother - within various lesbian and feminist communities (42).

Hayden, C. P. "Gender, Genetics, and Generation: Reformulating Biology in Lesbian Kinship." Cultural Anthropology 10.1(1995): 41–63.

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