Sperm Counts: Overcome by Man's Most Precious Fluid / Edition 1

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Overview

In Sperm Counts, Lisa Jean Moore offers the first comprehensive analysis of sperm, from its biological properties to its historical significance and cultural meaning. From masturbation to sperm donors, Moore offers a penetrating exploration of the importance of sperm to men and their sense of masculinity, explaining why many might consider sperm to be man's most precious fluid. Sperm Counts is at turns a fascinating, insightful, and humorous journey into the meaning and power of sperm.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In Sperm Counts, Moore’s new book about the cultural meanings of sperm, she tells this story to illustrate her own childhood naiveté about a substance that, as she now sees it, is far from simple. These days, according to Moore, sperm has tremendous cultural meaning—and looking at it in its many contexts, from children's books to pornography, can tell us a great deal about the skittish state of American masculinity. . . . Sperm Counts is a serious book, and the first on its subject. But it also includes anecdotes from Moore’s life, lending it a more conversational tone than most academic works. The book's margins are even squiggled with sketches of sperm—flip the pages and they swim around. (This is a subject matter, after all, that requires a certain degree of levity.) Moore happily lists spermatic nicknames (‘baby gravy,’ ‘gentlemen’s relish,’ ‘pimp juice’) before skewering, in a later chapter, the burgeoning home sperm-test industry (sample ad slogan: ‘I don't know how that semen got in my underwear!’).”
-Salon.com

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“You may never look at the family jewels the same way again”
-Conceive Magazine

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“Written from a cultural, social, gender study standpoint, and provides useful insights for an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural examination of masculinity. . . . Anyone interested in semen, sperm, sperm donation, sex education or pornography will have something to learn.”
-Sex Roles

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“[Moore] examines how sperm is seen through a variety of social lenses, including pornography, sperm banking, children's books on reproduction and criminal DNA evidence.”
-Between the Lines Magazine

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“Incredibly well researched and captivating read.”
-Girlwithpen.blogspot.com

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lisa Jean Moore is Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies and Coordinator of Gender Studies at Purchase College, State University of New York. She is author of Sperm Counts: Overcome by Man’s Most Precious Fluid and co-author of Missing Bodies: The Politics of Visibility and the forthcoming Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee. She is also co-editor of the collection The Body Reader and, with Monica Casper, oversees the series Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, and Health in the Twenty-First Century for NYU Press.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix Preface: Sperm Autobiography 1
1 In the Beginning, There Was Sperm 7
2 Lashing Their Tails: Science Discovers Sperm 19
3 My Sperm in Shining Armor: Children's Books 45
4 Overcome: The Money Shot in Pornography and Prostitution 71
5 The Family Jewels: Sperm Banks and the Crisis of Fatherhood 92
6 The Little Bit Left Behind: Semen as Evidence 121
7 The Future of Sperm 147 Methods Appendix: Becoming a Sperm Researcher 155 Notes 165 Index 187 About the Author 203
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