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Beschreibung des Verlags

A contemporary visitor to one of the largest sperm banks in the United States would find a dazzling array of seminal products available for purchase. The storage room of New England Cryogenics--in "home run" distance from Boston's Fenway Park--contains more than 165,000 vials of sperm representing the best that American men have to offer. (1) Consumers can peruse donor catalogs listing the race, ethnicity, height, weight, hair color, hair texture, skin tone, facial structure, IQ, hobbies, talents, and interests of the men whose sperm is for sale. The semen that is selected can then be purchased for about $165.00 per "straw" with additional charges for shipping and handling. In the U.S., tens of thousands of children are conceived each year through artificial insemination with semen purchased from sperm banks. (2) Both sperm donors and their "donations" are subjected to stringent forms of testing and screening to insure not only their health, but also the marketability of the product they produce. At most sperm banks, donors may be rejected if they are too young (under 21) or too old (over 35); if they are too short (under 5'8") or too tall (over 6'2"); if they weigh too little or too much. They may be rejected if they are adopted or have parents who are adopted because of an inability to obtain a complete genetic and family history. Other reasons for exclusion include having had sex with another male, with a woman who has had sex with a bisexual male, or with more than a maximum number of sexual partners. A family history of as many of one hundred different diseases or physical disorders can likewise rule out potential donors. (3) Once accepted as a donor, a man can be rejected if he fails one of the monthly blood and urine tests administered to check for drug use, HIV, and a range of other infectious diseases. As one newspaper article noted "being accepted as a sperm donor can be as difficult as entering Harvard." The data suggest otherwise. It is easier to get into Harvard. (4)

22. September
Journal of Social History

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