SammendragThis article focuses on human procreation as a cultural construction in Western thought. It argues that ideas about procreation depend on religio-cultural ideas about man/woman as well as changing theories about the human body. Tracing the changing ideas about human procreation the article focuses on three paradigm shifts: Christianity (focusing on its roots in antiquity), natural science (with an emphasize on the Enlightenment), and the "pro-life" rhetoric of contemporary Christian antiabortionists. In all three discourses the female body is construed in opposition to the male and defined in terms of its function in human procreation. Arguing that the various cultural ideas about man/woman is conditioned by dualism, the article aims to throw light on how and why women are construed as ambiguous creatures in Western thought.
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