In the medical-technological practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF), it is increasingly the couple, rather than an individual patient, that is considered the unit of (infertility) treatment. This article traces some mechanisms involved in the construction of medical interventions on female bodies as appropriate and effective therapeutic solutions to problems and diagnoses pertaining to male bodies. It traces the transformation of male infertility through shifts in localization and definition of the problem, concomitant reconceptualizations of the techniques involved, redistributions of properties, and specific ways of constructing "success." It is argued that both the notion of the couple as the patient in cases of male infertility and the claim that IVF techniques are appropriate solutions to this couple's problem simultaneously presuppose and legitimize medical interventions on women's bodies. This double movement is produced by leaving exactly the required material work of physical interventions-and, consequently, the uneven distribution of costs between the sexes-out of scientific accounts of these practices.
For more than twenty-seven years Science, Technology & Human Values has provided the forum for cutting-edge research and debate in this dynamic and important field.
Sage Publications began in 1965 with a desire to be the first commercial publisher of both academic books and journals in the social sciences and was founded on a strong belief in the value of quality information for shaping public policy. Sage has always been guided by a pioneering vision and the spirit to respond to new challenges. This has led to rapid growth rooted in a dynamic determination to deliver new knowledge globally. Sage is now a multinational publisher producing books, journals, videos, and software that disseminate knowledge throughout the world.