On Masculinities, Technologies and Pain: The Testing of Male Contraceptives Technologies in the Clinic and the Media

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Abstract

In the last fifteen years, testing has attracted much attention in science and technology studies. Most researchers have focused almost exclusively on testing in the laboratory, specifically designed test locations, and, for medical technologies, the clinic. What counts as testing has largely been described in terms of the activities of scientific experts. This is not to say that science and technology studies have completely neglected other institutional discourses. Journalistic texts have been a favorite research site for scholars in science and technology studies, particularly those seeking to understand the dynamics of public controversies on science and technology. Although most constructivist studies of science and media relations have treated journalistic texts as secondary to scientific texts, other scholars have dismissed this hierarchy. In this article, scientific texts and journalistic texts are considered equally important locations in which to analyze the testing of technologies. Based on a case study on the testing of a new contraceptive technology for men, the article shows that what counts as successful testing is not solely in the hands of scientific experts. In the case of male contraceptive technologies, journalists have contested the claims of scientific experts, particularly their claims about the cultural feasibility of the new technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-289
Number of pages25
JournalScience, technology & human values
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • IR-85302
  • METIS-148872

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