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Book Beat: January 2001

Recent publications from CLAS faculty.

Procreative Man

Procreative Manby William Marsiglio, Department of Sociology

(New York University Press, 1998)
Available through Amazon

In what ways do men think about and express themselves as procreative beings? Under what circumstances do they develop paternal identities? What is their involvement with partners during the pregnancy and delivery process, and how do they feel about it?

In Procreative Man, William Marsiglio addresses these and other timely questions with an eye toward the past, present, and future. Drawing upon writings ranging from sociology to biomedicine, Marsiglio develops a novel framework for exploring men's multifaceted and gendered experiences as procreative beings. Addressing such issues as how men feel about their limited role in the abortion decision and process, how important genetic ties are for men who want to be fathers, and men's reactions to infertility, Marsiglio shows how men's roles in creating and fathering human life are embedded within a rapidly changing cultural and sociopolitical environment.

Excerpt

Young men need to develop a better sense of how their masculine and partner role identities are related to their sexual and procreative feelings. If responsibility is defined broadly, without moral overtones concerning premarital sex, young men may learn that careless sexual behavior and disrespectful treatment of their female partners are unattractive behaviors. This process is likely to be enhanced if young men can be persuaded to redefine masculinity in terms of adulthood status rather than the rejection of femininity and homosexuality, as is currently the case. Campaigns to revise young men's perceptions of masculinity to include notions of adulthood responsibility may, in the process, fundamentally alter the way young men think about and express themselves as procreative beings.

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