1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · Events

Egenis seminar with Dr Ingrid Holme, 'Subverting the biological citizen: exploring informal sperm-donation through Gumtree advertisements'

Seminar   31.10.2011






Dr Ingrid Holme, Faculty of Medicine and Health and Life Sciences, University of Southampton

Organised by



University of Exeter,Egenis,Byrne House,St Germans Road,Exeter, EX4 4PJ

Room no: GF7

Event details

Time: 3:15 - 4:45pm


New technologies, such as sperm-donation, open up novel social contexts for those directly involved including doctors, clinics, donors, recipients and their children. However, little attention has been given to the impact of the technology on the converse social context and relations -those not making use of the technological structures and devices. In recent years, with the growth of the internet and its particular form of anonymous identity, written traces of informal sperm-donation have become visible. Drawing upon the concept of ‘biological citizenship’ this paper explores the portrayal of sperm-donation in the informal classifieds advertisements by examining listings on Gumtree, the UK's largest classified website. This paper argues that the sperm bank as an institution and sperm-donation as an altruistic and the social sanction activity of new genetics has offered up an unexpected, rich fantasy context for anonymous sexual expression that may subvert the biological citizen created in official sperm donation structure.

Further details