Encyclopedia of Reproductive Technologies

By Annette Burfoot | Go to book overview
Save to active project



Though artificial insemination has been practiced for over a century and has been readily obtainable through medical channels since the 1930s, its use did not become a social policy issue until after World War II. Few oppose the technique itself, except religious groups that object to masturbation or noncoital reproduction, but these opponents sometimes permit the practice if a permeable condom is used to collect semen. Artificial insemination by husband (AIH) is seldom regarded as a social policy issue. Public controversy has centered predominantly on donor insemination (DI). Even though DI is often used in combination with other conceptive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a few countries (e.g., Brazil, Egypt, and Libya) prohibit DI but allow and may even encourage IVF. Many countries permitting DI impose restrictions on medical practitioners, donors, and recipients.

The practice gives rise to a tangle of legal problems about adultery, bloodlines, legitimacy, and the assignment of rights and duties to donors, recipients, and progeny. The position of the medical practitioner as intermediary raises additional policy issues: the permissible scope of physician discretion in selecting and screening donors and recipients and the use of eugenic criteria in pairing them. A third set of issues that has recently come under increased public scrutiny pertains to the widespread


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Encyclopedia of Reproductive Technologies
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 408

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?