H. PATRICIA HYNES
Reproductive technologists have declared infertility to be the reproductive crisis of industrial countries, and population and environmental organizations have claimed overfertility to be the major environmental crisis of the developing countries. The two crises appear divergent; yet women in industrial and nonindustrial countries alike are subjected to reproductive strategies with common characteristics. These include an emphasis on reproductive technologies rather than prevention of infertility, reduction of the complex issue of human reproduction to women's reproductivity with some women being construed as being too infertile and others overly fertile; and a sexual politics whereby a male-dominated medical profession defines the problem of overfertility and underfertility as a female "deficiency" and then exposes women to risk-laden biomedical techniques and chemicals. For women in both the industrialized and increasingly polluted West and the rural but rapidly urbanizing South, the physical and social environments in which they live and within which reproduction takes place have historically been overlooked.