On Women, Egg Cells and Embryos Gender in the Regulatory Debates on Embryonic Research in the Netherlands

Marta Kirejczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In contrast to many countries, the political debates in the Netherlands on reproductive technologies and embryo research have paid particular attention to the issue of health risks to women. This article focuses on the question to what extent the discourse of gender has contributed to shaping the space for embryonic (stem cell) research in this country. The author argues that in the policy arena flexible conceptualizations of risks and burdens to women and of the identities of embryos have been crucial in drawing and maintaining a discursive boundary between the domains of medically assisted reproduction and embryo research. The author shows that feminist intervention challenging this discursive strategy has had an impact on the present regulation of research. However, the main weakness of this temporary and partial feminist success is the virtual absence of a public debate on the meaning and desirability of embryo research.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)377-391
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean journal of women's studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • embryo research
  • egg donation
  • feminism
  • health risks
  • IR-60031
  • Gender
  • Regulation
  • METIS-250689
  • public debates

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