Markets in Women's Reproductive Labor
Philosophy and Public Affairs. 1992 Spring; 21(2): 107-131.
Much of the evolution of social policy in the twentieth century has occurred around conflicts over the scope of markets. To what extent, under what conditions, and for what reasons should we limit the use of markets? Recently, American society has begun to experiment with markets in women's reproductive labor. Many people believe that markets in women's reproductive labor, as exemplified by contract pregnancy, are more problematic than other currently accepted labor markets. I will call this the asymmetry thesis because its proponents believe that there ought to be an asymmetry between our treatment of reproductive labor and our treatment of other forms of labor. Advocates of the asymmetry thesis hold that treating reproductive labor as a commodity, as something subject to the supply-and-demand principles that govern economic markets, is worse than treating other types of human labor as commodities. Is the asymmetry thesis true? And, if so, what are the reasons for thinking that it is true? My aims in this article are to criticize several popular ways of defending the asymmetry thesis and to offer an alternative defense....I focus my discussion on those arguments against contract pregnancy that
Adoption; Children; Contracts; Discrimination; Economics; Evolution; Females; Forms; Freedom; Genetics; Legal Aspects; Males; Mother Fetus Relationship; Mothers; Pregnancy; Remuneration; Reproduction; Rights; Risks and Benefits; Sexuality; Social Discrimination; Social Dominance; Social Impact; Stigmatization; Surrogate Mothers; Women's Rights;
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